Download the Infographic: Weathering the Storm: Physician Burnout, Depression & Suicide

Posted on September 10, 2019 by Liz Ferron, MSW, LICSW

Updated November 17, 2020

Weathering the Storm: How Burnout Can Lead to Physician Suicide InfographicWeathering the Storm

Physician suicide rates rank the highest of any profession. When symptoms of burnout collide with undiagnosed or untreated depression, the trauma can be felt throughout the organization.

Suicide is a complex and often daunting issue with multiple contributing factors, from unnoticed/undiagnosed depression and substance abuse to personal problems related to finances, health or family. Another significant contributor can be burnout—the loss of self-belief and the sense of making a difference that can afflict physicians stressed by the escalating demands of contemporary medical practice.

What Organizations Can Do

Given the complexity of the problem and the challenges of prediction and prevention, what can be done? With physicians choosing to end their own lives at about twice the rate of the general population, it’s clear healthcare organizations need to be concerned about the conditions which may lead to suicidal ideation among their practitioners and do what they can to help alleviate those conditions.

Organizations can help prevent physician suicide by creating a culture eliminating the stigma out of mental health issues and treatment for physicians. Burnout, depression and addiction in the medical community need to be discussed openly and resources need to be available for physicians in trouble.

Download the infographic and learn more about the relationship between physician burnout, depression and suicide.

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