Richard H. Fine, MD
To the Editors: I was very moved by Dr. Litwin's "Ode to Joy" (1) and at the same time was saddened by the failure of the attending physician to adequately prepare the intern to meet with the family. Thank God for the supportive nursing supervisor, Joy, who picked up the emotional pieces and taught the fledging intern how to communicate his caring to the patient's family.
This failure is too often repeated in teaching hospitals. Housestaff and students are frequently asked to break bad news to patients and families without ever having this difficult role discussed or modeled for them
Fine RH. Bearing Bad News. Ann Intern Med. ;117:879. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-117-10-879_1
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1992;117(10):879.
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