It is more than “just suicide”…it is occupational self inflicted injury and it is epidemic! While I appreciate your empathy and compassion in addressing this issue you may not appreciate how monumental the physician burnout crisis is. It is epidemic. Burnout is a state of of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization linked to the loss of hundreds of qualified doctors from the heath care system each year due to drop out and suicide. Burnout has been linked to lower standarss of patient care and dysfunction family and personal relationships. Two female residents recently committed suicide…and counting.
I was a general surgery resident when I first experienced the impact of a physician suicide. I came in at 6am to begin morning rounds amidst the raging discussion that a female surgery resident-pretty, smart and popular -killed herself after being caught stealing controlled substances out of the nursing station dispensary…probably just to help get a good nights sleep. My second physician suicide was a high school colleague and respected member of the African American professional community who lost his medical license after being caught up in medicare fraud. He was found slumped over his desk in a pile of bills and administrative paper work. I urge you to incorporate the guidelines of the National Academy of Medicine’s Action Collaborative on Physician Well Being and Resilience. At Golden State MD Health & Wellness we have created a safe and therapeutic environment offering preventive and mitigating services to address the Physician Burnout Crisis.