A doctor is standing in a hospital waiting room. There’s a black/dark purple circle around the doctor with shadowy outlines of people to convey the feeling of being overwhelmed with death. Above the doctor is a quote: "Doctors should be trained better when it comes to end of life. We need to improve our fluency in discussing emotions. We need to be okay with saying difficult words, like 'death' and 'dying.' " – Dr. Paloma Marin-Nevarez
Credit: Illustration by Molly Mendoza

Through our extensive reporting with medical professionals, we learned that many medical schools often provide insufficient training around death and dying. With the COVID-19 pandemic creating great need, this guide is meant to be a resource for physicians.

Download a printable PDF poster of this guide here.

The facts

Conversation guides

  • Looking for guides on having conversations that help patients and family members say goodbye? Here’s a list of resources.
  • Looking for steps on how to deliver a death notification? Try the GRIEV_ING mnemonic.
  • Want to practice having a conversation? Try this app.

Learn more

  • Have questions or want to share more? Reach us at @KHNews and @reveal.
  • Listen to our story that follows a new doctor dealing with death during the pandemic.

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David Rodriguez was a community engagement producer for Reveal. Before joining Reveal, Rodriguez's work as an engagement assistant producer at Southern California Public Radio helped develop a report on how newsrooms can improve their reporting on the 2020 Census, which won the 2019 Gather Award in Engaged Journalism. 

Rodriguez has reported stories on immigration at the Investigative Reporting Workshop in American University. He is an alum of NPR's Next Generation Radio and San Francisco State University. He previously completed internships with KPCC's podcast team, where he helped produce The Big One: Your Survival Guide, and with Reveal, where he created a database tracking how much money and time the United States government has spent buying land along the U.S.-Mexico border.