Outside of a Southern California hospital, an ER doctor is crouched down against a concrete wall grieving the loss of his 19-year-old patient.
A paramedic snaps a photo of the tender scene. His coworker, a close friend of the doctor, posts the photo (with permission)online. Minutes after the photograph, the doctor returns to work “holding his head high.”
Thousands of people have commented on the web. In their own words, here is why the photo went viral:
1) Humans crave raw empathy.
The photographer captures a poignant moment in a stoic profession that trains doctors to remain professionally distant. The voyeuristic photo reveals the emotional reality of doctoring—and a side of physicians that people don’t usually see—while uniting us all in our common humanity.
2) Unexpected death is universally heartbreaking.
An ER doc, Smeee, writes:
When it comes to our work, nothing is harder—and I mean…
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