Pearls from 5/11/21 Medicine LEADS

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

The May 11, 2021 session of Duke Medicine LEADS featured Anthony Galanos, MD, presenting "Grief 101: What Words, What Actions - How to support those who grieve."

Here are pearls and takeaways from the session:

  1. Grief is highly prevalent among medical professionals yet is not currently integrated into clinical training. 
  2. We should recognize that we may experience "gruilt" in our careers, a word that combines the grief that one has to carry as well as the guilt that might be a part of that grief.
  3. We should follow the CARE model when offering condolences to family members: Communicate compassionately, Assess risk for acute bereavement challenges, Refer when appropriate, and Educate about resources.   
  4. We should know what words or phrases are helpful and which can be harmful when addressing an individual experiencing grief.
  5. What NOT to say: "How are you doing?", "They are in a better place now", "Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you", "I know how you feel", "You're strong enough to get through this"
  6. What TO say: "This is so sad and I'm sorry", "I wish you didn't have to go through this", "When you feel ready, I can come over and help out with [something specific]", "Tell me more about [name of deceased]", "I can't imagine how you are feeling"

Click here for more resources on grief support and access the grief toolkit.

Watch the recorded session

Duke Medicine Learning, Education, and Discussion Series (LEADS) takes place each Tuesday at 12 p.m. Learn more and see schedule of upcoming sessions.