Docs Suffer Highest Suicide Rate

One-a-day average tops all professions
By Neil Turitz,  Newser User
Posted Apr 27, 2008 5:10 AM CDT
Docs Suffer Highest Suicide Rate
Substance abuse contributes to the high rate of suicide among doctors.   (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, file)

Depression among physicians sparks 300 to 400 suicides a year, the highest rate of any profession, Newsweek reports. While male suicides outnumber female 4 to 1 in the general population, the rate among male and female doctors is about the same. "Undiagnosed and untreated depression is the culprit here," said a psychiatry professor.

An upcoming documentary, Struggling in Silence, highlights doctors' macho attitudes, their fear of getting help when suffering from depression, and the stigma that psychological treatment can carry. Part of prevention involves targeting med students, according to experts. "What we're trying to say to these kids is 'Get help, get well, stay well,'" said the professor. (More doctor stories.)

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