Reader Poll: Have You Lost a Physician Colleague to Suicide?

Laurie Scudder, DNP, NP

Disclosures

November 14, 2014

Why Don't We Talk About Physician Suicide?

Pamela Wible, MD, once considered suicide and now dedicates her life to helping medical students and physicians who are disgusted with, depressed by, and feeling suicidal about their once-beloved careers in medicine. In an article on Medscape about this well-kept secret in medicine, she shares the stories of three promising lives and careers cut short by suicide. The common link? Stress in medical school and residency that was unrecognized—and a lack of support from colleagues and mentors.

Many physicians have lost friends, colleagues, family members, and classmates to suicide, a tragedy that is often hidden by a system that may seek to keep the truth from patients. Dr Wible writes that death certificates are miscoded, sometimes even in the presence of a suicide note. An intentional overdose is described as accidental; a self-inflicted gunshot wound called an accident; a suicidal jump labeled a tragic fall.

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