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#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – When #Doctors Ponder #Suicide, #Depression—Not Burnout—Is Key Driver

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Sara Berg

Senior News Writer

#Depression, substance-use disorder, impaired relationships and self-destructive tendency have been reported to be associated with #physician #suicide. #Suicidalideation has also been linked with occupation-specific factors in medicine such as increased workload volume and medical errors, among others. Previous research also links #physician burnout to #depression and #suicide, but a recent investigation presents a more complicated picture.

#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

Burnout Management Tip-of-the-Week

Reduce #stress in your practice with:

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Using survey data collected between November 2018 and February 2019 from 1,354 #physicians practicing throughout the U.S., researchers found that each standard deviation unit increase in burnout was associated with 85% increased odds of #suicidalideation. After adjusting for #depression, there was no longer an association between burnout and risk of #suicidalideation.

Yet in adjusted models, #depression was associated with 202% increased odds of #suicidalideation. Conversely, in terms of patient care consequences, an opposite pattern emerges; each increase in burnout was associated with self-reported medical errors whereas #depression was not in models accounting for both, says the study, “Association of Physician Burnout With #SuicidalIdeation and Medical Errors,” published in JAMA Network Open.

“Although burnout has been identified as a risk factor for #depression and #suicide in #physicians, previous studies haven’t fully accounted for the effects of both,” said Nikitha K. Menon, lead author of the study and a social science researcher in the psychiatry department at Stanford University School of Medicine. “On top of that, some controversy remains over whether burnout and #depression are truly separate constructs or simply gradations of the same underlying disorder.

“We explore their overlap as well as how each of them—burnout and #depression—relate to odds of #suicidalideation and self-reported medical error after fully accounting for their effects,” she added. “Our findings suggest that burnout and #depression are separate experiences, with separate consequences for #physicians and their #patients.”

Related Coverage

When addressing #doctors’ well-being first ask, “How are you?”

Menon added that “#depression is linked to substantially higher odds of #suicidalideation, even after adjusting for burnout.”

The AMA’s Christine A. Sinsky, MD, vice president of professional satisfaction, and Lindsey Carlasare, research manager at the AMA, also were listed as authors of the study, part of an eminent group of researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine, the University of Minnesota Medical School, and Boston University School of Public Health.

Need to adjust interventions

“Although burnout has received attention as an epidemic in medicine resulting from a dysfunctional system rather than an individual failing,” said Menon. “#Depression and other #mentalillnesses remain stigmatized in medicine.

A Quick Short Note From James

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“This cultural #stigma around #mentalillness likely exacerbates the barriers faced by physicians that are affected, preventing them from seeking help when they need it,” she added.

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