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South Med J. 1985 Oct;78(10):1205-7.

Physician suicide in North Carolina.


Previous research suggests that physicians are two to three times as prone to suicide than the general population. Review of North Carolina death certificates from 1978 to 1982 showed that the physician suicide rate is not substantially different from that of the white male population aged 25 years or older. Old age, divorce, and death of a spouse are associated with the highest suicide rates among physicians. Firearms and drugs are the most common suicidal methods. Depression, substance abuse, and retirement are significantly associated with suicide risk. Physicians need to recognize the existence of increased suicide risk with age and retirement.

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