Working to Raise Awareness of Physician Suicide

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  1. Marsha Snyder | Sep 10, 2023

    Thank you for this article on physician mental health. The number one cause of death for young doctors is suicide. This has been so for years. Roughly 400 doctors die this way each year in the USA alone. Women physicians also tend to die 10 years younger than women in the general population and we are the ones who preach about mammograms,  healthy diet etc.  Physicians do know about prevention, yes, however rather than write an article on  how doctors need to seek mental health appointments, I would respectfully suggest that   the medical system that is harming physicians needs to change. Let us stop putting the total responsibility on doctors when they are stressed.  Let us recognize that instead there is a kind of system wide abuse of doctors which needs to be changed.    For example, what about our politicians and leaders dealing with the threats of violence on the job?  The health care profession is at high risk  if being the victims of violence this is well known.

    What about malpractice reform? I mean major reform that takes the stress off the doctors?


    What about the administrative burden on primary care doctors?  It has been studied--   when a family doctor works 40 hours seeing patients, she or he is really working 80 hours a week due to the computer and the administrative burden.     A busy ER doctor in a 10 hour shift clicks the mouse 7000 times. Yes it has been studied.

    Who really wants to work 80 hour a week? Is that what a medical student dreams of?

    I am not just inventing these numbers.  How is a busy ER doctor or family doctor really looking at the patient when they are clicking a  mouse 7000 times? Think about that.


    In many respects the way the insurance industry, the government insurances, the computer mandates etc treat  doctors it is a form of emotional and physical abuse.

    I once heard  a  saying from an administrator..."getting doctors to practice medicine the same way is like trying to herd cats."  Now think about that...who would want to herd cats in the first place? who would even think of herding cats? It goes against their nature. Well, our system found that method -- the computer and all the 'quality improvement' and payment  restrictions that go along with the computer. The computer is the method to herd cats.  Doctors are not sheep.

    Again, thank you for   the article on the mental health of doctors, however,  if a female patient were in an abusive relationship I know we would agree that having her stay in that relationship   while she goes for mental health councelling is really not the full answer.  The abuse just needs to end, period.  Our profession needs to ask that question -- how can we end the abuse of our doctors for their own well being?

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