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Psychiatry (Edgmont). 2009 Jan;6(1):18-22.

Physician suicide: a fleeting moment of despair.

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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.


This ongoing column is dedicated to the challenging clinical interface between psychiatry and primary care-two fields that are inexorably linked.In this article, we examine the somber issue of suicide among physicians. While there is some variation in the literature regarding prevalence, the majority of studies indicates higher rates of suicide among physicians than the general population, particularly among female physicians. Potential contributory factors include various Axis I disorders (especially mood, drug use, and alcohol-related disorders), cognitive style, psychosocial factors, and particular personality characteristics. We urge physicians to be aware of these risk factors.


physician stress; physician suicide; suicide


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