June 6, 2020

Physician Suicide

On April 26, emergency physician Lorna Breen, MD, FACEP, died by suicide after treating COVID-19 patients in New York and contracting the virus herself. It was a gut-punch for the emergency medicine community and the field of medicine, a tragic reminder that frontline healthcare professionals are not immune to the emotional toll of this pandemic.

If you have contemplated suicide, please know: You do not have to go through this alone. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for immediate assistance.

After the tragic loss of Dr. Breen, her family has taken up the cause. They created the Dr. Lorna Breen 



Help prevent physician suicide: Peer recognition of the signs of burnout and depression, plus knowing how to create a supportive environment, are important in team-based settings. View this webinar to learn best practices for peer-recognition of the signs and symptoms of suicidal ideation.


Sept. 17 is National Physician Suicide Awareness Day.


Be Well: Preventing Physician Suicide
The American Hospital Association’s Physician Alliance created a podcast series with stories of recovery and ideas for supporting colleagues struggling with thoughts of suicide.

Psychcast: ‘Lived experience’ with suicidality with Dr. Lynes and Dr. Myers
William Lynes, MD, discusses his struggles with medical and psychiatric hardships, his suicidality, and the eventual suicide attempt that changed his life.

Psychcast: Physician Suicide
Sidney Zisook, MD, gives a lecture on physician suicide, including risk factors and ways to change the culture.

Psychiatry Unbound: Physician Suicide
Dr. Laura Roberts talks with Peter Yellowlees, MBBS, M.D. author of Physician Suicide, Cases and Commentaries. They examine the multiple risk factors that account for the higher rates of burnout, depressive symptoms, and suicide risk physicians experience compared with the general population.

TEDx Talks


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