Grief on the Front Lines
Reckoning with Trauma, Grief, and Humanity in Modern Medicine
For readers of Atul Gawande and Siddhartha Mukherjee--a timely, vital exploration of the burnout, grief, depression, and trauma that America’s healthcare system engenders among doctors, nurses, and medical workers.
Practicing medicine is traumatic: coping with the death of a patient, sharing a life-changing diagnosis, grieving futility in the face of a no-win situation. The emotional burden placed on doctors, nurses, and other healthcare practitioners is profound...and yet their suffering is often displaced, dismissed, or unrecognized.
Here, Rachel Jones breaks the silence, daring to imagine a future where every healthcare worker is provided with the right tools to process grief, the space to integrate trauma, and--most importantly--the knowledge that they’re not alone. Drawing from the latest research and more than 100 interviews with healthcare professionals across different specialties, backgrounds, and institutions, Jones identifies how US medicine fails its workers--and how it can do better.
Speaking with urgency about the systemic shortcomings that contribute to widespread depression, burnout, suicide, and PTSD among physicians and nurses--a culture of stoicism, the pressure of 80-hour workweeks--Grief on the Front Lines shares the stories of everyday healthcare heroes and offers a glimpse into the educational programs, retreats, therapeutic offerings, and peer support networks already building a hopeful new culture of medicine that cares for its own.