I was just thinking about one morning during my intern year. One of our patients had died the night before, and my resident Annie had given consent to have the body transported to the morgue. I don't remember the exact details of what happened, but apparently she didn't have proper consent, which she hadn't realized, and she got bawled out by the coroner. I think the words "you're going to be in big trouble" were thrown around.
Annie and I were alone in the resident room. And as soon as she got off the phone with the coroner, Annie started crying hysterically. She was actually sort of a tough cookie, but I guess it was all too much for her: having her patient die, being awake for 30 straight hours, and now being told she was in big trouble over some confusing issue. I made an awkward attempt to comfort her, mostly just saying I didn't think she'd really be in big trouble, but I was pretty tired and depressed too.
Annie managed to pull herself back together before anyone else came into the room. So nobody but me knew that she had been crying. But even if they had, I'm pretty sure nobody would've done anything about it. We all would've just looked at her awkwardly, and tried to pretend like it wasn't happening.
That's how residency is a lot of the time. You hate your life, you cry, and nobody really seems to care.**
What baffles me is that this is OK somehow. That we were all so miserable, we did nothing to help each other, and everyone basically pretended like it wasn't happening. Despite the fact that the responsibilities heaped upon us were enormous enough that we really should have had our mental health monitored better.
Granted, it's been a long time since the morning that Annie cried in front of me. But I'm pretty sure that things haven't changed much.
**Except in PM&R presidency. There you go to work for a few hours, then head to the beach, and nobody really seems to care. (Just kidding.)