Please join us Monday, June 3, at 8:00 p.m. ET as we discuss depression in physicians and the resulting tragedies, as well as how to help physicians receive the treatment they need to prevent suicide.
Our special guests include physicians with expertise on the triggers of physician depression and solutions for fighting this epidemic, Sarah Candler, MD, (#MDedgeChats) and Elisabeth Poorman, MD, ( ). We hope you will participate in our Twitter chat on June 3 at 8 p.m. ET.
Physicians have higher rates of depression and suicide, compared with the general population, according to the. Suicide rates for male physicians are 1.41 times higher than in the general population and, for female physicians, 2.27 times greater.
“But these numbers come from only those deaths that are reported publicly,” Dr. Poorman wrote in anthat was published by WBUR, Boston’s NPR News Station. In fact, as Dr. Poorman was writing this story, she learned of five separate deaths that were widely known to be suicides, but never publicly identified as such, she said.
One possible explanation for physicians’ higher likelihood of becoming depressed or dying by suicide, compared with other professionals, is their hesitance to receive mental health treatment, experts have suggested. Psychiatrist Michael F. Myers, MD, found anecdotalof this tendency when he interviewed the loved ones, friends, and colleagues of physicians who took their own lives.
In this chat we will discuss this topic and other possible reasons for the high rate of depression and suicide among physicians.
Topics of conversation
Question 1: What are the causes of physician depression and suicide in training and practice?
Question 2: How can we end stigma against seeking mental health treatment among physicians?
Question 3: How can we prevent depression and suicide among medical students and physicians?
Question 4: Which institutions or programs are exemplars in providing resources to improve mental health?
Question 5: What organizational and political changes are likely to reduce physician suicides?
About Dr. Poorman
Dr. Poorman (@DrPoorman) is a primary care physician at the University of Washington in Seattle, a freelance journalist covering issues related to medicine, and a frequent speaker on the causes of and solutions to mental illness among providers.
Her writing has been featured in Self, The Guardian. Medpage Today’s KevinMD.com, and other publications. She produces the blog:.
About Dr. Candler
Dr. Candler (@sarahgcandler) is a primary care physician in Houston. She is coeditor of the blog, and a member of Internal Medicine News’ Editorial Advisory Board.
She is currently consulting for a tech firm and will later be joining Iora Health to start a Medicare Advantage clinic.