In the first few days after the attacks, a flood of families came to the center simply to learn whether their relative was known to be in a hospital or was confirmed to be dead. A line of families stretched around the block waiting to discover the fates of their missing loved ones. We had obtained long lists of September 11 patients from hospitals throughout the region and a relatively short list of people who were confirmed dead. However, with the remains of the World Trade Center still burning, it quickly became clear that if a missing person was not on the list of those confirmed to be in a hospital there was virtually no chance that he or she was still alive. I quickly volunteered myself and my psychiatrists to do the tough job of checking the lists and informing families. As a newly minted attending physician, I was still getting used to the power of psychiatry. I reasoned that as an intern, during my internal medicine rotations, I had to notify families when patients died, and later, on my psychiatry rotations, I learned how to tolerate the intense emotions that can rush out when someone is given the time and tacit permission to open up. Therefore, I reasoned, psychiatrists were uniquely qualified to do this difficult work of giving life-or-death news.