The New York Times
February 17, 2011
Many doctors express a desire to attend their patients’ funerals. But it can be nigh impossible to reschedule 20 patient appointments or rearrange a planned operation on the short notice that funerals typically offer. And beyond the logistical scheduling challenges lies an inner core of ambivalence; now that the medical care chapter has closed, we’re not quite sure how we fit into the patient’s life. We were so recently actively directing the medical care -- doing something -- and now we are the awkward bystanders, often abashed by the deference paid by families.