OhioHealth Trauma Surgeon Reflects on Gun Violence
Keshav Deshpande, DO, trauma surgeon at OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, opened up about the challenges he faces in his field of work, including caring for the victims of gun violence in Columbus. Being on the frontline, Dr. Deshpande not only takes on the enormous responsibility of trauma care, but also bears the weight of delivering tragic news to families.
“It’s probably the worst part of my job to have to deliver that kind of news,” he shared with NBC4 anchor Colleen Marshall. “No matter how long you've been doing this job, it's like the very first time.” While grappling with his own emotions, he must be the messenger of news no one ever wants to hear about a loved one. “Starting that sentence is never easy, it is always the hardest thing.”
Dr. Deshpande described the emotional toll of treating young victims of violence. “We see a lot of children that come through our trauma center,” he said. “Sometimes, they're children, but they look like adults.” The discovery that these patients are children makes the process just that more heartbreaking. “It never gets old,” he said. “I would love for it to be old and us not talk about it anymore, but it's just increasing every single year.”
As for the mental toll, Dr. Deshpande emphasized the benefit of teamwork in the trauma center. "You're never on an island," he said. "You always have your partners, your team members, nurses, therapists, staff, everybody that's there. You're all in there together with one mission and so you have each other, and you turn into family when you're there."
He recalled his own journey into trauma surgery and the first time he experienced a tragic shooting as a medical student. This was the moment he knew, "I want to be part of this team that really tried to give everything they could."
His words serve as a reminder of the challenges faced by those who work to save lives in the face of violence and the support of healthcare professionals who take on these struggles every day.