Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Crying at work

Crying is an acceptable way to manage emotional stress

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 12 April 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l1642
  1. Isobel Phillips, foundation doctor
  1. Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant CF72 8XR, UK
  1. isobelphillips{at}

Should doctors be able to cry at work?1 The answer is entirely contextual. There is an absolute difference between crying during an emotionally challenging conversation with the family of a dying patient and crying in private because of excessive workloads and pressure. Regardless, doctors are human beings. Professionalism is the bread and butter of medicine, but doctor-patient relationships …

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