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In a too brief moment, we saw much of what is great in modern medicine, but the painful truth is that after the horrors of Sept. 11, there was not much need for emergency care. There was not much call for hospital and physician services. That's the dramatic side of health care--the stuff that over the past half century has come to dominate the public's perceptions and our own sense of what is central.
But in fact, after the initial rush, many acute care professionals wound up standing around idle because there wasn't enough to do. Most who were in the World Trade Center either got out--traumatized but physically safe--or they did not get out at all.
In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks it's been the quieter facets of health care that are being called on. The largest surge in need for direct service has been and will continue to be for counseling, particularly bereavement …