Why Doctors Kill Themselves – Battling The Dark Side of Medicine

Posted on February 23, 2017

A number of recent articles have commented about the mental health of doctors, often after a colleague known to them dies by suicide. I was able to attend a presentation at the 2016 APA by Dr Michael Myers, a Canadian psychiatrist who specialises in treating physicians, with some input from Dr Glen Gabbard. He noted that approximately one doctor in America dies by suicide every day, and I imagine we would have a similar population-adjusted rate in Australia. Dr Myers noted that suicide is an outcome where “several things go wrong at once”. The purpose of passing on this information is to help understand this outcome in doctors better and perhaps assist in its prevention.


Suicide and Doctors

The article is an abbreviated version of an article originally published in Mindcafe. Issue 24, September 2016.

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  • Huu Kim Le

    This is a very helpful and practical guide.
    I also found Tim Ferriss’ practical guide very helpful. He too discusses perfectionism, isolation and the steps one can take to prevent a tragedy from happening.

    • Psychscenehub

      Thanks Huu Kim Le. Yes perfectionism as a trait can be a doubel edged sword. Very much linked to the growth and fixed mindset concept by Carol Dweck.
      A focus on mindset should start from school years.