By John Matheson, MD, FACEP
Emergency physicians provide excellent patient care and save lives every day. Sadly, many of our own suffer silently with depression, but few talk about it or seek help for it. On average, more than one physician takes his or her own life every day. Even if you personally do not struggle with depression, somebody you work with almost certainly does. We encourage you to review this information. It might just help you save another life today.
Here is a powerful story of an emergency physician who took her own life, as told by one of her colleagues (used with permission).
Facts About Physician Depression and Suicide
This article by Jay Kaplan in the January 20, 2016 issue of ACEP NOW is on physician burnout. It contains links to resources for physicians who experience depression and suicidal ideations.
Depression and suicide affect young physicians, too, as shown in this article from The Atlantic.
If you are struggling with depression, don’t suffer alone. Ask for help. And if you recognize that a colleague is struggling, reach out. We need to care for ourselves and each other as well as we do our patients. Help is available.