An endless cycle of grief: Surge in shootings taking toll on ER staff in Minneapolis

“Vulnerability in healthcare is a pretty precious commodity,” said Dr. Mitch Radin, a Clinical Psychologist at Hennepin Healthcare Medical Center (HCMC) in downtown Minneapolis.

A study published in the Journal of Emergency Medicine in 2021 found that because of the trauma doctors treat “shift after shift,” many of them “become unable to recognize when they themselves are injured and suffer, specifically as it pertains to moral injury.”

The researchers found that it’s a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Dr. Tom Klemond, Vice President of Medical Affairs at HCMC, describes it as a crescendo effect.

“Repeated exposure to the wrong thing happening changes us over time,” he said. “Doctors who have been five or 10 years in practice dealing with these events repeatedly, repeatedly. It causes us damage and makes us hard. It makes us callous and distant. It has effects on our health and our emotional well-being.”