Seriously though, I was a bit taken aback by that comment too. I don't think all doctors have stories like that. Derek made it sound like killing a patient was a right of passage or something, and I thought it was inappropriate.
You guys are funny with your Jim Henson references. :lol
I agree that Derek's delivery of the information was a little stilted last night and made it come off as a tad inappropriate. But I think, unfortunately, that doctors and residents that work in ICU have to make quick decisions that sometimes turn out to be the wrong ones. I would think that losing a patient is, in fact, a right of passage that doctors and residents do have to overcome (nice analogy, Marleybone) in order to proceed over that emotional hurdle. I would have liked the line to have been delivered a tad more emotionally... but I liked it that Derek was trying to reassure Alex that he wasn't alone. But maybe I'm muddying the waters between "losing a patient" and "killing a patient."
I may have missed a detail, but... does Derek know that Alex failed his exams?
I agree that it is the difference between "losing a patient" and "killing a patient." I think he wanted him to realize that making a mistake does "kill" and though they don't mean to, the responsibility needs to be taken seriously and accepted and the doctor needs to move forward, learn from it, and hopefully be better next time. He was teaching him in that sense.
In this litigious, real world, I don't think a doctor would stand around and say they "killed" a patient. You never know who might hear you.
As for Alex, as far as I know nobody except the Chief knows that he failed his boards, and I'm thinking he may have told Meredith when they were sitting together at the hospital on Thanksgiving.
Alex did tell Meredith that day and she told him he should talk to Izzie about it but he said he couldn't because she's act to undertanding or something like that.
Maybe Derek used the word "killed" instead of "lost" or "losing" to make Alex realize the severity of his mistake. Just a thought.
Nah, derek just seems to lack tact.