I woke to the sound of our dog barking around 3:00 am or 4:00 am. Although, I live less than a mile from the hospital, I couldn’t hear the sound of the sirens and helicopters the same way our pet Yorkie could. I had been scheduled to work the overnight Emergency Department shift on June 11-12, 2016, but due to a family event, I switched with another colleague, Dr. Bondani. It wasn’t until I fully awakened a little later that I saw the multiple texts from Dr. Bondani indicating the severity of what had just transpired.
My first reaction was not relief that I had switched out, but rather disappointment that I had not been there with my residents during the initial surge of patients. This gave way to concern for the well-being of our emergency medicine trainees. This was immediately followed by the fear of knowing that the largest mass shooting to date in the United States had just occurred about a mile from my house where my family slept peacefully. I remember feeling a lump in my throat as I thought about how I would explain this to my 11- and 9-year-old children. Finally, I also wondered about the aftermath and impact this would have for our residents in training.