Mar 5, 2020 - Health

Female physicians are more likely to die by suicide

Female physicians are at a greater risk of dying by suicide than male physicians, according to a meta-analysis in JAMA.

The big picture: Certain physicians lead highly stressful careers, while most are extremely susceptible to burnout. Though doctors typically have good access to mental health services, the workplace culture stresses helping others before helping yourself.

  • The data, from nine British and U.S. studies, shows the suicide mortality ratio for female physicians to the general population at 1.46. For men, the ratio was significantly less at 0.67.

Yes, but: The last analysis of physician suicide was in 2004, with most of the data accumulated from 1980 and a disproportionately male sample.

If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

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