Health professionals accept the profound, sacred duty of caring for people through all stages of life – including the emotionally taxing experience of losing a patient. At The Practice, we recognize that grief is a natural and inevitable part of being a physician. You must find a healthy coping mechanism to protect your well-being as you continue providing compassionate care to others.

The Stages of Grief

A patient’s passage can evoke acute sorrow, akin to losing a friend or family member. Grief is a natural human response to such losses. Grieving a patient is not unprofessional; rather, it signifies the compassion and connection you feel toward those you care for.

Grief often unfolds in stages, which include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. These phases are not linear and do not necessarily occur in a specific order. You might fluctuate between emotions, experience several stages simultaneously, or even feel like you’ve progressed past a stage only to return to it. Each person’s experience is unique, and there is no “right” or “wrong” way to grieve.

Coping With Grief

Here are some healthy ways to cope with the grief of losing a patient.

Moving Forward With Your Career

Many people turn to alcohol or drugs to numb the pain of grief. However, using substances as a coping mechanism can lead to addiction and further complicate the process of healing. Seek immediate help if you find yourself struggling with substance use while dealing with grief.

At The Practice, we understand the challenges faced by health professionals, including the impact of patient loss. We provide a confidential and supportive environment where you can address your emotional needs and related substance use issues. As the healing place for healers, we pledge to help you recover in a way that allows you to regain strength and continue your vital work with compassion and resilience.

You are not alone if you mourn after losing a patient. At The Practice, we are here to help you through this difficult period. Contact us today to take the first step toward healing.