• Healing the Healer: Providing a Path Towards Physician Suicide Prevention

      Ferron, Liz (2021-09)
      There’s a painful fact about medicine today, one practitioners and healthcare organizations are often hesitant to talk about: physicians choose to end their lives at a rate around twice the rest of the general population. Exact numbers are hard to come by because of inaccurate or misleading cause-of-death coding and likely underreporting, but according to one study, for white male physicians in the United States the suicide rate is 1.87 times higher than in the general population; for their white female counterparts it’s 2.78 times higher. America loses about 400 physicians a year to suicide. “Patients feel the ripple effect, too,” write Matt Hoffman and Kevin Kunzmann in MD Magazine. “Statistics show that the average physician in the United States is responsible for 2,300 patients. The more patients a doctor sees, the more the absence is felt when the physician is gone. The annual 400 physician suicides translate to almost 1 million patients losing their doctors to suicide each year.”1