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Physicians Who Kill Themselves

K. Daniel Rose, MD; Irving Rosow, PhD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1973;29(6):800-805. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1973.04200060072011.
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Previous research suggests that physicians are no more prone to suicide than people in general, but most studies suffer from major methodological problems. We reviewed death certificates in California from 1959 to 1961 and found that physicians, and health care workers as a group, are twice as suicide prone as the general population. Among physicians, divorce and old age are associated with the highest suicide rates, but physicians seem to be more sensitive to these factors than the general population. Sex, race, and specialty area—such as psychiatry—appear to have no effect on suicide rates; however, more data are needed to clarify this point. Drugs are the most common method of suicide. Physicians should recognize the existence of this problem and be more sensitive to a colleague's "cry for help."

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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