Paper short abstract:
This paper explores the trope among doctors of "my first death", that is, the first patient who dies while under their care.
Paper long abstract:
Health workers are trained to save lives. On a day to day basis, many clinicians work in circumstances in which lives are hanging by a thread. For them, death is an everyday reality. As the people in health systems who hold professional, legal and moral responsibility for patient survival, the impact of patient deaths on doctors holds very particular meanings. Based on fieldwork from a number of hospital fieldsites, and explored further in interviews with doctors, this paper examines the trope of "first deaths" among medical doctors.
Anxious hope: life and death in hospital ethnography