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#MeToo: So many of my patients have a story. And absorbing them is taking its toll

For my patients, sexual trauma is a constant. For me to treat them with the care they deserve, I have to be able to absorb their horrors without letting it…

On a recent shift in in the emergency department, I evaluated a young woman who had been raped a few summers ago. The shift before that, I’d met with a teenager who had been sexually abused by her father. And just before meeting her I had tended to a middle-schooler who had been sexually assaulted at school.

These three women came to the hospital for variety of reasons — they struggled with issues ranging from truancy to substance abuse to thoughts of suicide. Part of my job as a psychiatry resident is to explore the stressors that influence suffering. More often than not, I find those stressors stem

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