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In April 2020, as many Americans prepared to spend the Easter holiday in lockdown, pop star Mariah Carey released a video honoring the "sacrifices and courage" of frontline workers battling COVID-19—her 1993 hit, "Hero."

"The sorrow that you know will melt away," Carey sang. "When you feel like hope is gone," the song continued, strength and answers can be found within, and "a hero lies in you."

For healthcare professionals, the reality of 2020 wasn't quite so uplifting. PPE shortages and spillover ICUs had many feeling helpless, exhausted, and overwhelmed. Few if any medical professionals felt their sorrows "melt away."

We can't expect depth and nuance from pop songs, but we can find in them the imagery that runs through our culture. The "hero narrative"—the idea that doctors, nurses, and others in healthcare have superhuman endurance and selflessness—has long been an undercurrent in the medical field. Head over to Medscape to read the full story.