Monday, September 27, 2010

Physician Suicide -Is It More Common Than the General Population?

I came across an article by Drs. Randy Sansone and Lori Sansone on that addresses the question, whether suicide rates among physicians are any higher than the general population.  It appears that, in general, suicide rates among physicians are higher than the population at large. They have also given some insight as to the possible reasons, although it is difficult to know for sure the exact predisposing factors. 

Physician Suicide: A Fleeting Moment of Despair
By Randy A. Sansone, MD, and Lori A. Sansone, MD
Psychiatry (Edgemont) January 2009;6(1):18–22
Dr. R. Sansone is a professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Internal Medicine at Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio, and Director of Psychiatry Education at Kettering Medical Center in Kettering, Ohio; Dr. L. Sansone is a family medicine physician (government service) and Medical Director of the Primary Care Clinic at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. 

On another note, a physician has mentioned that suicide rates are also higher among physicians subjected to disciplinary actions out of the dreadful peer review processes. My comment:  If that is true, then the peer review may not result in the death sentence to a physician's career and means of living, but may even lead some to end their own lives. Unfortunately, a punitive culture is more prevalent than a constructive-minded culture.  Despite that burden, the process is very much flawed and is very much open to exploitation and abuse.

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