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#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – Factors Related To #Suicide And Burnout Among #Physicians

Brian Dougherty and Alex Chan

1. #Physicians who committed #suicide tended to be older, report having issues with their jobs, and have ongoing physical health or legal issues.

2. Compared with other physicians, surgeons who committed #suicide were older and more likely to be receiving care related to #mentalhealth.

#JamesDonaldson notes:

Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle

Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)

Study Rundown: Burnout is becoming increasingly prevalent amongst #physicians, and has been shown to lead to poor health outcomes for both the individual and their patients. Prior literature has demonstrated that #suicide and burnout have significant overlap in terms of risk factors. To expand upon these findings, this study made use of deaths recorded in the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) between 2003 and 2016 to identify modifiable risk factors as well as particular groups at increased risk.

In this retrospective cohort study, #physicians committing #suicide tended to be older on average compared with the general population. They were also more likely to be further along in their careers (i.e., past residency), report Asian or Pacific Islander ancestry, job issues, civil legal problems, and ongoing medical concerns. They were less likely to report experiencing intimate partner violence, problems with alcohol use, #black ancestry, #female sex, or being unmarried. When compared with non-surgeon #physicians, surgeons were at the time off death more likely to be receiving care for #mentalhealth and be older. No association was found between #physician #suicide and substance use.

This study was limited by a relatively homogenous study cohort consisting mostly of #white #men, which may limit generalizability of findings. Additionally, the study did not make comparisons with individuals, both physicians and otherwise, who died of causes other than #suicide; thus, it remains unclear whether the risk factors identified are unique to death by means of #suicide among #physicians. Nonetheless, study findings identified several risk factors associated with #physician #suicide and burnout, and reinforce the need for robust and accessible social services available to support #physicians across all levels of training.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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