My Medscape article on Physician Suicide has been updated and greatly expanded in 2022 with many more recent references.  It includes expanded discussions on why physicians fear help seeking, and how the profession can reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. 

Medscape published an article by Sandra Levy "Why Do Depressed Doctors Suffer in Silence?" 6/26/17 based on reader response to a prior article, "Doctors and Depression: Suffering in Silence" by Pamela Wible.  Wible's article was based on a survey of over 200 physicians who explained how they dealt with depression.  The responses to both articles were disturbing, and telling.  Doctors do not reach out because they rationally fear regulatory consequences.  Many such consequences are detailed by physicians responding to the survey and to both articles. 

Clinical Psych News published a column by Dinah Merrill "What Stops Physicians from Getting Mental Health Care" in June 2017.  The article explores various ways in which many MLBs discriminate against physicians who admit to a mental health diagnosis, the legal cases supporting the illegality of such discrimination under the ADA, and the AMA House of Delegates' recent effort to curtail the practice (more here).  Miller also provides details about the Maryland programs, which do not discriminate.

Chicago Tribune published a story 6/6/2017 on Doctor Depression and Suicide.  Reportedly there may be some progress on the medical licensure conundrum

Gold et al published a survey of US medical license applications in 2017 in an article entitled "Do US Medical Licensing Applications treat Mental and Physical Illness Equivalently?".  The result was a resounding "No". 

AMA published a module on Preventing Distress and Suicides in Physicians during Mental Health Month Sept 2016. 

AFSP's video "Struggling in Silence" can now be viewed online. 

STAT News published an article on a crisis of physician suicides and depression in July 2016.  The article contains many links on particular aspects of the problem. 

Pamela Wible and I participated in a nationally aired broadcast "Radio Health Journal" on physician suicide in May 2016.  It can be accessed here.

I also did a webinar entitled "An Overview of Clinician Suicide: what you need to know" at QuantiaMD (free subscription required)

The New York TImes on Jan 11, 2016 published an OpEd by Aaron Carroll entitled "Silence is the Enemy for Doctors with Depression".  The article reiterates what we already know, that physicians do not seek help for mental illness because of the attached stigma and potential adverse consequences on their licenses.  Several of the comments were made by spouses or friends of physicians who had completed suicide. 

The Daily Beast on March 23, 2015 features a poignant article by Gabrielle Glaser telling the story of a gifted young physician with an affective disorder and substance use disorder, who completed suicide in the face of a relapse and threats of punitive action by his PHP.  The article is one of the few that talks about the role of PHP's and their general adherence to a recovery model that is ill suited to the intellectual capacities of many physicians, including this young physician. 

Medscape has published several articles on Physician Burnout, Depression and Suicide in February 2015.  A chat with Mike Myers contains much information and collates useful references from the service.  Subscription (free) is required; well worth the effort!

Ob Gyn News published an excellent article citing several experts  in January 2015 entitled "Medicine Grapples with Physician Suicide".

On July 14, 2014 the Washington Post ran an Op-Ed by Pamela Wible on Physician Suicide entitled "When Doctors Commit Suicide, It's Often Hushed Up". The article points out the appalling lack of transparency when physicians complete suicide, and the lack of reliable statistics, as well as the likelihood that numbers are almost certainly underestimates. 

In May 2014, ran a series of articles regarding physician suicide.  One of the best of these, entitled "Physician suicide etiquette: What to do when your doctor commits suicide" features Pamela Wible, a family physician-entrepreneur who is no stranger to suicidal ideation.  You will find her article, various links from the article, especially her Tedx talk on the topic, and a number of the Related Stories at the bottom of the article to be full of insights about the problem posed by an epidemic of physician suicides, and also some potential solutions.  The Lane County (OR) Medical Society actually sponsors a Physician Wellness Confidential Counseling service to members which other medical societies might emulate.  

Gold KJ et al reported "Details on Suicide among US physicians: data from the National VIolent Death Reporting System" in Gen Hosp Psychiatry 2012.  The article was excerpted in MedPageToday by Phend as "Physician Suicide Related to Work Stress"

The AMA sponsored a series of three excellent webinars on prevention of suicide in medical trainees and physicians in the fall of 2011.  The webinars are a bit hard to find on the ama website, but are archived and freely accessible.   If these links do not work, please Google "Preventing Medical Student and Physician Suicide" AMA to find them.  

In the first webinar, speaker Michael F. Myers, MD, professor of Clinical Psychiatry at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, looked at the data on physician suicide and considered the scope of the problem.
The second webinar examined some of the stressors in medical education that may contribute to a risk for suicide among medical students and resident physicians. Dr. Myers joined featured speaker, Sidney Zisook, MD, director of the University of California, San Diego Residency Training Program, and a professor of psychiatry at UCSD.
The last webinar featured stories from friends, family and colleagues of physicians who have died by suicide.

This 2011 presentation on Burnout, Depression and Suicide Prevention in medical trainees and physicians includes helpful and not helpful responses if you feel a colleague may be depressed. 

2011 Current Psychiatry article by Bright and Krahn on Depression and Suicide among physicians with special reference to Barriers to Treatment such as stigma and licensure concerns.

2010 Article on Physicians Impaired by Substance Abuse Disorders (SUDs) mentions the connection between SUD and Suicide among physicians, and is a fairly comprehensive guide to the topic of SUD in physicians. 

Presentation on Physician Suicide with International references and comparisons to successful US Air Force intervention program, done by a McMaster resident in Neuroscience/psychiatry appears here.

Suicide Mortality of Working Physicians and Dentists Petersen and Roberts, Occupational Medicine October 2008

When Doctors Kill Themselves, Noonan, D, Newsweek April 28 2008

Today I'm Grieving a Physician Suicide a colleague remembers a friend lost to suicide Annals of Family Medicine (6) 267-269 May 2008

Medical Know-How Raises Suicide Risk for Physicians, AP May 8 2008

Suicide-Awareness Project Targets M.D.s, Med Students, Bender, Eve, Psychiatry News. April 2008

A Survey on the Impact of Being Depressed on the Professional Status and Mental Health Care of Physicians, Schwenk TL, Gorenflo DW, Leja LM, J Clin Psychiatry Mar 11 2008

"Physician Suicide--A Problem for Our Time" excellent article by Gary Carr, MD, at the time Director of the MS PHP; PHFLA reprinted from JOURNAL MSMA, October 2008 –– Vol. 49, No. 10 303 

Our Fallen Colleagues: A Mandate for Change, Worley LL, Acad Psychiatry Jan-Feb 2008

Raising Awareness Concerning Physician Suicide, Jackson Coker random physician survey results June 4, 2008 Note: this is an unscientific survey of physician opinions regarding physician suicide. Some inaccuracies are reported.  But the opinion results are nonetheless interesting.

Licensing and Physician Mental Health: Problems and Possibilities, Hendin et al, Journal of Licensure and Medical Discipline 93:2 2007: 6-11.

Suicide in Doctors: A psychological autopsy study, Hawton et al, Journal of Psychosomatic Research 2004(57): 1-4

Confronting Depression and Suicide in Physicians: A Consensus Statement
Center C, Davis M, Detre T, Ford DE, Hansbrough W, Hendin H et al, JAMA 2003; 289(23):3161-3166

Physician Depression and Suicide Lim, AMA Virtual Mentor 2003 

Suicides of Physicians and the Reasons (JAMA 100 Years Ago) JAMA 2003; 290(3):414

Physician suicide:  Searching for AnswersAdams D. American Medical News April 2005

Suicide survivors: tips for health professionals, Fine C, Myers, M, Med Gen Med 2003; 5(3):41

Suicide in Physicians: Towards Prevention  Medscape 5(4) 2003

Self-reported depression and suicide attempts among U.S. women physicians
Frank E, Dingle AD, Am J Psychiatry 1999; 156(12): 1887-1894

Female Physicians Face Higher Suicide Risk, Batchelor S, Women's eNews 1/31/05

Experts address Risk of Physician Suicide, Hampton, T, JAMA 2005; 294(10) 1189-1191

Suicide rates among physicians: a quantitative and gender assessment (meta-analysis) Schernhammer and Colditz, Am J Psychiatry 2004; 161(12):2295-2302

Medical Community Begins to Address Physician Suicide Boston Globe 6/28/05

Encouraging Treatment in Depressed Medical Professionals Physician's Weekly 9/19/2005

Aggressive Intervention urged for Depression in Physicians, Psychiatric News 2000

The Painful Truth: Physicians Are Not Invincible, Miller M, McGowen, KR, Sou MedJournal 93(10):966-972, 2000

Physician Suicide: Risk Factors and Prevention, Kaufman, I.M. Ontario Medical Review Sept 2000 20-22

A Physician's Suicide. Clinical Case Conference,  Hendin, H, Maltsberger, JT, Hass, AP Am J Psych 2003:160:2094-2097,

Plutzer, Family Therapy and a Physician's Suicide, letter in response to above article detailing treatment errors,  Am J Psych 2004:161: 2328-2329,

Depression and Suicide, Andrew L,

Physician Suicide, Andrew L,

Reducing Suicide: A National Imperative, Institute of Medicine National Academy Press 2002 

Silent Treatment: Suicide and Depression in Emergency Physicians, Andrew L, EPMonthly December 2005

Survey on EP depression and suicide, EPMonthly December 2005

Readers Respond to Silent Treatment, Andrew L EPMonthly March 2006

PHPs are in Your Corner, Andrew L EPMonthly July 2006

MDMentor, a sister site and resource on Litigation Stress for Physicians

Depression and Suicide a resource document by Mike Magee not specific to medical professionals but very relevant

AMA References on Depression and Suicide

AMA Policy on Depression and Physician Licensure

Please note:  These websites change often and a particular article may no longer be at the indicated link.  Please SEARCH the web using the title/author etc. and let us know where (or whether) you find the article.  Thanks for help maintaining the site!