So I feel like I need to write something to people struggling with the “I feel like a failure because I lost a patient” guilt/shame enough on this board that I’m going to make a new post just so my thoughts aren’t buried in a reply thread.
I struggle with it still but please try to remember how much good you remarkable minds do for this world.
My latest version replying to an anonymous post is copied below, (edited to be less specific to that post.)
I hope every one here knows that what you do is literally awesome, in the truest biggest sense of the word.
“YOU ARE A BADASS WARRIOR HEALER.
YOU WERE/ARE FIGHTING AN UNRELENTING, COLD, INEXORABLE ENEMY THAT NEVER QUITS.
YOU WERE BATTLING DEATH. FFS.
Most of the time- fuck, most of the time- we lose.
It is the worst thing about medicine— we are fighting what is almost always a losing battle.
But it is a deeply noble and necessary fight. It is a gift to the world to pull on your coat and wade back in to the battlefield.
And you did it to the best of your ability.
Not only should you not be feeling like a failure— you should be fucking proud. Hell we are ALL proud of you.
You hold your head up— you stared death in the face and fought until you couldn’t fight anymore. That’s fucking HEROIC.
Shame on those who belittle your efforts. They are unworthy of your awesomeness.
So, how do you move on? One step at a time. One case at a time one differential and one diagnostic. One tiny win at a time.
But never forget you are a brilliant mind doing important good in the world. No matter how many complications. No matter how many time we lose. No matter how many times we fall.
The winning comes when you decide to get back up. Stand up.
Stare that heartless bitch Death down one more time. For your patients. And for the joy and the love and good THEY add to the world.
You’re a warrior for those who can’t fight for themselves. Always.
You/We are part of the 0.03% of people with the brilliance and know how to push back against death. Thats truly amazing.
You/We (ALL OF US) are amazing.
Always remember that.
And the rest of us are here if you need us.”
The Admin Team of NOMV is a group of veterinarians dedicated to improving veterinary mental health.