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I’m an ambassador to nightmares. My medical training didn’t prepare me for that

As an emergency physician, I sometimes escort families into sadness and despair, plunging them into the darkest emotional depths with the news I must give.

I’m a physician, a husband and dad, a guy who tries to live by the golden rule. But sometimes I’m an escort into sadness and despair, plunging families into the darkest emotional depths with the news I must give.

One particular case from years prior stands out. Mary (whose name and identifying details have been altered) would have been starting college in a few weeks. Instead, the car in which she was a passenger collided with a truck. My emergency department team couldn’t resuscitate her. Right after we called the time of death, a nurse gasped. With a shaking hand, she pointed to Mary’s cell, which we had removed from her jeans when we cut off her clothes. “Where are you!!” the text message said. It was from Dad.

Later on, as I sit in the windowless family room packed with a chair, two small

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