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Daughter and doctor: two conflicting roles

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 22 June 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:1530

The most difficult aspect for me about my father's illness—dementia—is accessing my feelings about what is happening. My training as a doctor has made it hard for me to engage emotionally with what should otherwise be a time of grieving. I have written poetry and through this discovered all kinds of previously unacknowledged emotions, chiefly anger, but my professionalism had me struggling with the daily events that my siblings and mother seem to be able to process on a more fundamental level. I am slowly losing my father and yet I struggle to find any tears.

I find myself in constant conflict about my roles as daughter and doctor. As …

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