I just came back from a talk by Dr. Richard Deichmann, who is the chief of Medicine at Memorial Hospital, In New Orleans, Louisiana. He recounted the crisis of the Katrina Hurricane and what happened at his hospital, where 2000 people came to shelter at the 350 bed facility. After a few days the generators supplying emergency power failed, and people began dying. The dead were left in their rooms, as the basement morgue was underwater. I cannot imagine the smell, combined with the human and animal waste in a Louisiana summer. They somehow managed to evacuate the survivors to a field hospital and safety. Not only was that an amazing story, but he also detailed the aftermath- friends and colleagues committing suicide due to Post Traumatic Stress, and the emergency preparedness plans that have now been put in place.
The comment that stuck out at me the most was from his colleague: "It was both the most difficult and yet most rewarding time to be a physician. Totally unencumbered by getting paid or area of specialty, we were just HELPING people." Awesome.