Colleen Farrell, MD+ Your Authors @colleenmfarrell Internal medicine resident in New York City. Soon-to-be pulmonary and critical care fellow. Writer. Creator of @MedHumChat. Views mine. May. 22, 2020 1 min read + Your Authors

I’m in NYC and I feel guilty too, @IlanaKrumm. That recently I’ve had time off. That I don’t do the highest risk procedures, ie intubation. That I’m in Manhattan, not Queens, Brooklyn or Bronx.

I think guilt is a pervasive feeling amongst HCWs in this crisis.

The hero label doesn’t help shake feelings of guilt for not being in 100% war zone mode, 100% of the time.

I’m still working on how to process the widespread guilt I’ve been hearing about, but my thoughts now...

In some semiconscious part of our minds we are constantly comparing ourselves to others. This can make it feel like it’s a competition of who has really seen the worst, who is suffering the most. The reality is, each of us has unique life circumstances and experiences.

I’m still processing, but for now I have to remind myself that suffering and experience are not comparative. We are often called on by chance to rise to whatever occasion and we have little control over that. I remind myself that my guilt serves no one.

We are enough as we are. This is hard in so many ways, and some of the hardest parts are the least obvious. Death and trauma are obvious. But the isolation, uncertainty, waiting, loss of purpose, those are so real too.

Sending love to all those weighed by slightly irrational guilt. I get it. I was raised Catholic and have the ability to feel guilty about anything and everything. Maybe we can shake the guilt, or at least shine a light on it and see it for what it is. ❤️


You can follow @colleenmfarrell.



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