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Curr Opin Psychol. 2018 Aug;22:23-26. doi: 10.1016/j.copsyc.2017.07.019. Epub 2017 Jul 24.

Suicide in physicians and veterinarians: risk factors and theories.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Penn State Harrisburg, W311 Olmsted, 777 West Harrisburg Pike, Middletown, PA 17057, USA. Electronic address: elf17@psu.edu.
2
Department of Psychology, Penn State Harrisburg, W311 Olmsted, 777 West Harrisburg Pike, Middletown, PA 17057, USA.

Abstract

Physicians and veterinarians are at increased risk for suicide compared to the general population. In particular, this risk appears to be especially pertinent to females in both of these professions. Although increased risk is well-documented, less is known about potential causes for suicidality in these groups. A host of risk factors have been examined in recent research, including job stressors, personality traits, access to lethal medications, and unique work experiences. In addition to these factors, the interpersonal psychological theory of suicidal behavior may provide promise in specifying why physicians and veterinarians are at increased risk for suicide. While there is recognition of mental health issues in these professions, significant treatment barriers remain.

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