Suicide in female physicians: Recognize, respond, reconsider

More people are dying because they commit suicide than in motor vehicle accidents this year.  The number of suicides is rapidly approaching the number of deaths from breast cancer.  The trend upward has been noted for the past decade.

Physicians are the professional group with the highest rate of suicide. And studies have estimated that women physicians have as much as an eight fold rate of suicide compared to their male colleagues.  Is this a crisis?  I think so.

But what can we do? Recognize. Respond. Reconsider.

First we need to recognize that there is a problem–either with ourselves or in others.  None of us is immune from the small (or not so small) daily doses of devaluation that women physicians tend to experience more than their male colleagues.  Instead of pretending that we are not hurt by slights large and small (such as when we are mistaken for a nurse or the resident is addressed by the family as “the doctor” instead of us, as the attendings). And we all suffer from the rather large doses of increasing expectations from patients and a system is putting unprecedented burdens on physicians, the consequences of which are reflected in these startling statistics.

Next we need to respond. Most urgently is our need to be on the watch for our sisters in medicine who seem depressed, are giving up, are more negative than usual or have had a change in behavior. Any signs of burnout or overload should be cause for concern. Talk to them. Don’t be shy. Save a life. Be a friend, even if it is someone you don’t know very well.

Reconsider how we work. This is the long term plan. Under no circumstances should we belittle anyone who takes a different career path than the one we may have chosen. Schedule flexibility, getting off the track when needed, and taking time to reflect and refuel are all options that both women and men physicians need not just to survive but also to be happy.

Take a few minutes now to think about some of your colleagues and how they might be feeling. If you know anyone who is going through a tough time with a patient, a partner, a job change, health problems, or other family challenges, find a few moments to talk. Also, find out the resources in your community that are available for physicians in trouble. This doesn’t mean only addictions or anger management, where most of our efforts are focused. This means the mental health of the women physicians around us who we went to medical school with, trained with, and want to have a long collegial relationship with. Remember, it could be you one day.

Linda Brodsky is a pediatric surgeon who blogs at Women MD Resources.

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  • Anthony D

    I’m a CML Leukemia patient that was diagnosed in 2008 at age 25. Thankfully, I received a Bone Maroow transplant in 2009 and now I’m 30.

    I was near death, forced on welfare, had no income (due to leave of absence from work), lost my apartment, and my relationship suffered with my girlfriend!…..Committing suicide was never my option on my mind. To myself, I said “if the going gets tough, the tough get going”. I thank God that I’m doing fine now and my counts are stable!

    Personally, suicide is for WIMPS & CRY BABIES that can’t handle life’s problems. I’m a FIGHTER and I will always be! If you think that “taking the easy way out” is in option for you, then your WRONG. do like I did and FIGHT your problems like the brave men and women that considered this option and WON!!!!!!

    “I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom”
    -General. George S. Patton-

    • http://www.thehappymd.com/ Dike Drummond MD

      Hey Anthony – I get that you are a fighter and honor your life experiences. You are amazing and have survived much with your fighting spirit AND the fighting spirit is not a concept that works in a conversation about physician burnout and suicide.

      This attitude is what makes it impossible for people in the head space where suicide seems to make sense – to ask for help. This “show no signs of weakness and never ask for help” programming is something all doctors get in our training. The isolation that comes with depression when that programming is how you learned to be a doctor — is a huge part of why suicide rates are so high in doctors.,

      The key to preventing burnout and suicide is creating an environment where it is OK to ask for help and to get support. Fighting and “soldiering on” is not the solution to burnout and the suicides it causes. Patton has nothing to do with how a stressed out, isolated and depressed doctor can put the gun down and get the support to pull things around.

      My two cents,

      Dike
      Dike Drummond MD
      117 ways to prevent burnout in the MATRIX report here
      http://www.tinyurl.com/bpmatrix

      • Anthony D

        Well that my feelings on handling suicide. To me no matter what you do and how you deal with life, suicide IS for WIMPS & CRY BABIES that can’t handle life’s problems. Like many in the healthcare or any different earner positions, if your thinking of taking “the easy way out” your a fool, and thinking you don’t have other options. Don’t just sit there sulking, fight back against it! That’s how I handle it and so far, so good!

        • Jonathan

          Depression is a mental illness and it cannot be treated by simply telling people to quit sulking. Physician burnout cannot be treated that way either. Did you try to treat your leukaemia by “sucking it up”? No, you treated it with medical intervention and a bone marrow transplant.

          I would also like to point out that you probably had a pretty good support system to help you through your illness. You could talk about it with your family, friends, and girlfriend. Most doctors don’t have the luxury of discussing their problems, struggles, or burnout with anyone. I bet your doctors even helped counsel you through your illness too, so maybe you should consider a little more compassion and a little less name calling. You didn’t miraculously get healthy on your own. It took a team of people getting involved.

          • LBENT

            Well said. The righteousness of overcoming adversity would hopefully leave one more sensitive rather than less. LInda Brodsky

          • Bill Taylor

            Crucial issue, suicide costing lives when the shortages in the health professions already loom large. I recently struggled to write an e-book on the topic, almost gave up, finally found a more positive slant. It’s now out on the Kindle site. The title is deliberately somewhat provocative: “Intravenous Hope, Stat! We Need to Help Stressed or Suicidal Doctors, Nurses, Psychologists, Therapists and Their Relatives.”
            IF you’re struggling, talk to somebody!
            Bill Taylor
            William R. Taylor, M.D.

          • Richard Willner

            Very good, Bill. I will be sure to read your book.

            Richard Willner
            The Center for Peer Review Justice
            info@PeerReview.org

    • penguin50

      This response breaks my heart. I, too, have had harrowing experiences with cancer and cancer treatment: four major surgeries, radiation, chemo, three near-death experiences, the permanent loss of my job, more pain than I care to describe, disfigurement, difficulty breathing and speaking, ongoing extreme fatigue, and various forms of disability. Plus it seems that I will die fairly soon because my treatments have not been curative, although they have bought me a bit of time. But there isn’t some sort of Darwinian competition among patients where the spoils go the mightiest fighter. All of this has only opened my heart to the suffering of others. People suffer in so many ways—most everyone is struggling with some sort of pain (psychological or physical or financial or whatever), and I would not judge those who find it unbearable and feel they must end their life. We must help one another and not assume that “bucking up” will be the solution for everyone. It makes no sense to me to revile people for having trouble coping with what life has presented them. That’s like kicking them when they are already down.

      Despite all that I have described, I feel genuinely lucky. I have wonderful friends, doctors who would throw themselves in front of a speeding train if it would cure me, good health insurance, a loving spouse, and a comfortable home. There are still many pleasures in my life and chances to spend each day well. Not all cancer patients have these advantages. Let’s give one another what we can and not tear one another down for lacking the particular strengths we each have. You may well have a long life ahead of you. I hope you can use your very difficult experiences to benefit others.

      • Guest.

        Hope everything works for you. God Bless you and I’ll will be keeping you in my prayers!

        • penguin50

          Thank you. I am actually in considerable pain as I write, and I very much appreciate your kind words. My cancer is an extremely rare one for which there is no known cure (and no one is working on such to the best of my knowledge), so, for me, “winning” will likely be more a victory of spirit than of body, but then, none of us is immortal, so I am simply engaged in a struggle that most everyone eventually will confront in their own way. And yes, you are right—I genuinely do feel stronger for having had these experiences, and my connections with the people in my life have never been stronger too. There is a sweet intimacy in sharing my suffering and letting others help me. Again, I thank you for reaching out to me.

          • Guest.

            Have you tried going to M.D. Anderson, Memorial Sloan-Kettering or Fred Hutchinson center? I went to Sloan-Kettering in NYC for a 3rd opinion and were very helpful to me. They are ranked 2nd in the U.S..1st is M.D. Anderson!

            Your bills must be expensive, did your doctors recommend switching to straight medicaid or a government insurance plan? Why I ask, because my doctors made me switch due that my bills were going to be astronomical. So they wanted me to switch. But that was in 2008. I don’t know what the rules are now with billing and insurance in this matter!

          • LBENT

            Glad to see this post is helping people reach out to one another. Linda Brodsky

    • Trent

      “Committing suicide was never my option on my mind.”

      That’s because although you may have been physically ill, you were mentally robust. You had a lot on your plate, but you had enough resources to deal with it.

      Not everyone is in that position. The answer is not to damn them for being “WIMPS & CRY BABIES” or to gloat at how much stronger those of us who have never had thoughts of suicide are, but to help figure out how to get the resources to those who ARE at that point, and how to get them to accept help.

      You can call people who’ve run out of resources to deal with life, any mean names you like. But that’s not going to help them.

  • Eric

    I completely agree with you that this topic deserves more attention. The suicide rates among physicians and prevalence of depression, burnout, and suicide ideation among medical students and residents are surprisingly high. I think a lot of work has been done to recognize and some to respond. For example, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention produced two short films a few years ago on the topic of physicians and medical students facing mental illnesses. Some medical schools have implemented a number of innovative means of supporting student and staff well-being.

    That said, your point about reconsidering how physicians work is one that really interests me. I think that much can be gained by “taking time to reflect”. Perhaps some good would come from facilitating discussion groups for physicians to reflect on their lives and struggles with their friends/colleagues in safe, non-judgmental environment. I know a few places where this is being done, but it does not seem to be very common.

    Thank you for the interesting article!
    -EK

    • LBENT

      Thanks Eric. linda brodsky

  • http://www.thehappymd.com/ Dike Drummond MD

    Thanks for the article Linda.

    The biggest barrier I see to making a dent in the suicide numbers is that this is a complication of burnout. With burnout rates at 1 in 3 doctors on any given office day worldwide, regardless of specialty … there is ample supply of doctors at risk in “the pipeline”.

    Part of the medical education process is conditioning in a number of dysfunctional coping mechanisms for dealing with stress. One of these is the prime directive, “Never admit weakness”. This subconscious programming makes it very difficult to reach out to a colleague who is obviously in distress. They will deny your concerns outright, over and over again. Getting through to them in a way that can help stop their downward spiral can be very difficult.

    Reach out for sure when you see a colleague in need. Do it with an open heart. Over and over again if needed. And work to create a culture of support in your organization where it is OK to rally around your colleagues … to offer and receive support without a stigma.

    And in my experience, this is MUCH easier to do with and for female physicians. It is the men whose defenses cause the most resistance to getting help.

    If you are reading this comment and would like help for yourself or to discuss a colleague in need and how you might approach them. Please contact me to discuss here: http://www.thehappymd.com/contact

    My two cents,

    Dike
    Dike Drummond MD
    http://www.thehappymd.com

    • Suzi Q 38

      You are so right.
      As angry of a patient that I was, I never wanted to be THE PATIENT that put the doctor “over the edge.”
      I have come to realize that some are just arrogant jerks. Others are just busy and make mistakes. They deserve another chance, if you are still alive to give it to them.
      I have fired a couple of doctors, though.
      Even though I know that they are jerks, and I have forgiven them, I am not stupid.
      I never want them to have an active hand in my medical treatment again.

  • Anthony D

    “Physicians are the professional group with the highest rate of suicide. And studies have estimated that women physicians have as much as an eight fold rate of suicide compared to their male colleagues. Is this a crisis? I think so”

    Well you go tell that to the media and to society about this article and see how many will agree. It won’t be 100% in your corner.

    So many will play the smallest violin for these healthcare workers! Many think its all about their bank accounts and not for the patients well being! Sad isn’t it?

  • Suzi Q 38

    This is why, when doctors do not treat me well, I try not to bash them as much anymore. When we were young, we lived in a rough part of town.
    If someone crossed me, I would retaliate.
    Bad habits don’t die easily.
    I am not proud of what I have done in the past with a couple of rude and careless, uncaring physicians. I did not only fire them. I fired them in a public way, in the form of a formal complaint.

    I realize now, that they were probably just very busy and they did not want to acquiesce to my letter or phone requests because they were either arrogant or scared. Maybe I intimidated them a little. Imagine that! Unfortunately, their actions or inactions caused my condition to deteriorate and my legs and arms to weaken. Thank goodness I got to a different hospital just in time.

    After reading about physician suicide and how many of your feel, I decided that maybe the two doctors in question have gotten my “message” and have learned from our bad experience.
    We were the “poster children” for bad patient/physician pairs.

    We were far from a “match.’

    Now I kindly interview doctors about referral doctors:
    Me to my gynecologist: “You say that this gyn/oncologist is very good, but will she listen to my concerns and partner with me for deciding my care?” If the answer is “I am not sure…” I would just say: ‘I’ll just take my chances with just you, then. Can you give me a CA 125 test?

    Luckily, he said “yes, absolutely.”

  • buzzkillerjsmith

    Women doctors have 8 times of the rate of suicide as male doctors?! I just Googled “suicide rates in female doctors” and the top hit was a Psychology Today article that stated that although the suicide in men in the general population is 4 times that of women in the general population, the suicide rate in male doctors is the same as that in female doctors.

    Please give us the source that states that the suicide rate among female doctors is so much higher than the male doctors’ rate.

    • Suzi Q 38

      Thank you.
      I want to know, too.

    • LBENT

      You need to learn to do a good pub med search. Google is not the ending point of a good search.

      • Guest

        You need to give some kind of link where readers can verify your claim, then. The only cite you DO give in that para, the one for your claim that “Physicians are the professional group with the highest rate of suicide”, is a “Daily Beast”/”Newsweek” (wasn’t that the magazine that was sold for one dollar recently?) blog post from four years ago.

        There are lots of professions claiming to lead the tables in the “highest number of suicides” stakes – you chose to go with The Daily Beast’s factoids; instead you could have gone somewhere with a bit more medical credibility, the APA:

        ————-
        Suicide by profession: lots of confusion, inconclusive data

        Police officers end their lives more often than those in other professions, right? Or is it dentists? Or psychologists?

        Assertions about which occupational group has the most suicides float around like urban myths.

        Various occupational groups have called the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), each to confirm that their occupation has the highest rates of suicide, says Jim Weed, NCHS analyst.

        But experts on suicide say that statistics on its relation to occupation are not clear. There is no national data set on occupation and suicide. Local studies indicate elevated rates in different occupations, but the data usually “turn out to be frail,” says prominent suicide researcher David Clark, PhD.

        And in fact, points out Ronald Maris, PhD, director of the Center for the Study of Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior at the University of South Carolina, “Occupation is not a major predictor of suicide and it does not explain much about why the person commits suicide.”

      • T.M.

        His Google factoid is exactly the same as in your PubMed piece.

  • LBENT

    As the author of this post, it is disturbing to read the animus directed at women who spend nearly a decade in some instances, training to help others, meet tremendous resistance and hostility in too many situations and then are criticized when they suffer with depression and too often commit suicide.

    Buzzkillerjsmith: your search is limited and here is one article that ups the odds to 4:1 http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/410643_2 which is from a medical journal with references. Unable to access my data base of articles (I am traveling) and not being blessed with photographic memory for the dozens of articles I read each week, right now I cannot cite the reference for the 8:1. By any estimates it is high, too high and probably under-reported.

    Thank you Dike for pointing out this occupational hazard, and for responding. I share you point of view.

    Anyone who tells someone who has been pushed over the edge by any illness to “suck it up” has a serious lack of empathy.

    I am a surgeon–ear nose and throat for kids. a specialty with lots of stressors from serious airway problems to regularly giving devastating diagnoses of deafness or the first referral for autism (language problems) on a regular basis. Combine that with a lifetime on call average of one in 4.5 days for 30 years, it is stressful. Sure I get down and frustrated from time to time, and save for one instance when I suffered an unexpected loss of an eight year old child, I have not known severe depression. But I see colleagues and friends struggle. For women, it has to do with the added burden of the devaluation women physicians face on a daily basis in many fields and many environments.

    If you want your physician health force to be helpful and caring, they need to work in a place which is supportive and helpful. That is not the modern medical healthcare environment of today. To address that would take another dozen or so posts. If you want to fead more about it, please go to my website http://www.womenmdresources.com and if you are interested in my personal story on how I got into this, visit, http://www.lindabrodskymd.com

    Again, if you know a physician who is on the edge, reach out and help, you could save a life. And as it is written, “He/she who saves just one life, saves the world.”

    • T.M.

      Your cite doesn’t say what you claim it says. You claim, “studies
      have estimated that women physicians have as much as an eight fold rate of suicide compared to their male colleagues.”

      The Medscape study you link to says, “Suicide rates for women physicians are approximately four times that of women [not men] in the general population. The rates for male and female physicians are roughly equal.”

      Unless you can find an actual study which backs up your claim that female physicians suicide at a rate eight times higher than their male colleagues, you should probably issue a correction.

    • Richard Willner

      I know of the articles that Linda has referenced as well as others I have read over the years. I really do not care about statistics. My occupation puts me in close contact with doctors who are struggling for their careers against the “Sham Peer Review” and the abuse of the State Boards and others. I listen to their concerns. I know when they break down and cry.

      Does anyone report the incidences of car accidents as suicide attempts? This is very common.

  • Bob

    Having been around evidently longer than most contributors, and recall the time when mistaken identity between nurses and physicians never occurred and it wasn’t about men and women but rather about physician and nurse. You could always tell them apart as nurses were the ones proudly wearing their “caps”, and until the 1960′s dresses, as male nurses were rare and males were “orderlies”.
    Then hygienics caused OR nurses to be required to wear pants, and fashioned “crazy caps”, and all nurses followed suit. So today its impossible to determine “who’s who and who’s what”. Adding in the “accessorizing” of wearing stethoscopes and various colored uniforms which don’t help patient recognition. The hospital can be likened to going to a sporting event where the teams both wear the same color uniforms without numbers.
    What isn’t discussed often is the differences between the length of time spent in medicine for doctors or nurses as most women in both categories take time to marry and have a family which it seems takes, on average, several years out of service, and in many cases they leave practice, which is difficult to plan for or accommodate, as there is a shortage of nurses and physicians. To require dresses or caps be worn or that any identification of type of licenses be required will never happen again.
    So I suggest that misidentifying isn’t a problem of patients, but one of physicians which doesn’t happen at their offices but only at hospitals, and so it is unfair to blame patients. It would be helpful therefore to press for a system of identification as nurses push to be “more like physicians” and PA’s and NP’s, who aren’t physicians, add more confusion to the “team rosters”!

  • buzzkillerjsmith

    Linda, We’re waiting.

    • LBENT

      My, you are impatient. I think I told you when I returned i would find the reference. End of August.

  • Bill98

    “Physicians are the professional group with the highest rate of suicide”.

    If so, then restricting your concern to only female physicians makes little sense. This seems to be yet another case where a problem afflicts both men and women, but the focus of concern is upon women, only.

    What a contrast to this article, which appears on this same blog, entitled “What I’ve learned from saving physicians from suicide”. Here, the author relates that “Both men I dated in med school are dead. Brilliant physicians.” She then describes how she works to save physicians, women AND men, from this same fate.

    Which is why it is highly offensive, when you state “Most urgently is our need to be on the watch for our sisters in medicine who seem depressed”. Why not do the same for your brothers, as well, or are they not worthy of your concern?

    It would seem that male physicians would suffer from just about every pressure that you mention, in at least equal measure to the female physicians, with the possible exception of being mistaken for a nurse. We can discuss whether or not that is a “slight”, as you state (see the article “Thanks for the compliment, but I’m not a nurse” on this same blog, for much, much more on that topic).

    But, it would hardly cause a significantly higher number of female physicians to commit suicide. Therefore, I share the skepticism of those who would like some proof of your “eight fold rate of suicide” figure for female doctors.

    Even if we, for the moment, accept your assertion that female physicians commit suicide at a higher rate than their male colleagues, this hardly matters. Given that we are discussing life and death here, it is the cruelest form of sexism to focus your efforts on helping women, only, when men are experiencing the same pain.

    • LBENT

      This blog was originally written on Women MD Resources which addresses issues of women physicians. Kevin MD picked it up and published it. In no way would I discount the pain and suffering of men MDs, but that was not my focus. Linda Brodsky

    • Richard Willner

      Bill,
      I understand your concern. Linda has started organizations that are focused to dramatically help the female physician, med student and Resident. And as such, her articles that were written for her own organization reflects her focus. The problem of physician suicide has become so dramatic that if Linda in some way was able to prevent suicide in just female physicians, that would be great!!

      I know Linda personally. I know how deeply and genuine her concern is for male colleagues.

      Richard Willner
      The Center for Peer Review Justice
      info@peerReview.org

  • Richard Willner

    504-621-1670 . We have answered this Hotline as much of 24-7 as is possible over the last decade for the sole reason as to give a Physician a chance to speak to some regular guy who gives a darn about them.

    In our experience, Surgeons and Physicians call The Center for Peer Review Justice when they are faced with a “sham peer review” or the abuse from a State Medical Board. Without question, these are the most stressful and potentially career ending events in a MDs life.

    The issue is the Health Care Quality Improvement Act of 1986 that is a “legal carve-out” and only gives the doctor ( MD, DO, DDS and DPM) procedural due process rights, that is, the right to a Fair Hearing which is hardly fair and is only a Hearing in name only. It takes away the substantive due process rights or the right for facts to be presented. It removes Constitutional protections.

    Stressful, indeed.

    Richard Willner
    info@PeerReview.org for more information.

  • Rob Burnside

    I’m not a physician, but worked for years in EMS and have some “behind the curtain” knowledge of what physicians go through in the ED and elsewhere. Risk is ever-present, responsibility off the charts, exhaustion almost guaranteed. Some time ago, in a depressed state, I very nearly took my own life. It made sense then because I had a sizable insurance policy that would be worth much less the following year.

    Ultimately, what didn’t make sense was leaving those I love most–my beneficiaries–and they haven’t raised any objections yet. It seems many suicides in health care, and elsewhere, result from a lethal combination of extreme pressure and distorted logic. Successful suicide interventions ameliorate one factor or the other. Ideally, both. Forums like this one are vital. Thanks, Dr. Brodsky, for stirring the pot.

  • blancheknott

    blancheknott
    At the January 2013 quarterly meeting of the Medical Board of California, 2 men from the PACE program at UCSD presented a startling statistic : the suicide rate of female physicians is over three times that of male physicians. When I asked them why, they said they didn’t have a clue. I asked if anyone was studying this. The answer was no & the subject was glossed over as if it hadn’t been mentioned. I find this especially troubling since the MBC president, executive director, virtually all of the high-ranking medical board staff are women. No one seemed to care. [The PACE program is a disciplinary course required of virtually all physicians who are put on probation by the MBC]. Given the source, I guess this comparative rate refers to California MDs. I don’t know if this includes MDs whose licenses have been revoked w/probation. Between Sept-May, the Board disciplines a license/day. If you’re really interested, Call William Norcross, MD at UCSD. He presented the statistic.

    • Richard Willner

      I had three female physicians contact me in the month of January a few years back who were dangerously close to suicide. But, in my opinion, there is no question that male doctors are at much higher risk.

      Richard Willner
      CPRJ

      • blancheknott

        Thank you for your work, Dr. Willner. I didn’t know your website existed until I read your posts here. I am a California physician & dentist, and have been monitoring the disciplinary decisions of my state board. I have read over 100 of them. [if you sign up for alerts, they send you more than one per day!] This medical board is in danger of being shut down by the state legislature for not doing enough, so it has been focusing on directly revoking the licenses of solo and independent practitioners, with small or former practices, bypassing peer review entirely. This inflates MBC statistics, but does little to impact patient safety. It is clear from reading the actual cases, that many licenses were Accused, resulting in surrender or revocation, because the MD did something suicidal that affected only him/herself. Perhaps you see more male doctors, because there are still more male doctors than female ones.

        • Richard Willner

          Thank you for your comments. I have been studying the State Medical Boards for about 13 years. I have much to say regarding California, Texas and others. I can not be public about my comments but I can be reached at info@PeerReview.org or our Hotline at 504-621-1670. I respond to all e-mails and I welcome all telephone calls.

          • LuisOrtizfan

            Someone should look at the # of each kind of disciplinary action taken against males vs. females per number of each practicing in a state. I have observed two states in particular where women against whom claims are made end up with at least a small ding on their record while men in similar situations routinely get first cases dismissed. The men who get disciplined have done grossly egregious things…. there are even groups of male docs in one state I know who do reprehensible things to create business for each other…and fly “below the radar.”

            I myself (female) have been in the position of being told by a male physician on call for a specialty that he “was not on call for you (me)”….the clerk was listening in at my request because he had been a problem. This was a clear COBRA violation. Had I reported him, I would never work again in that state. In fact I would have been afraid to drive home at night.

            I know my male colleagues also face challenges, but, if only for a day, they could be women I think they would be appalled at what women physicians face each day. I am rarely if ever mistaken for a nurse…a matter of confidence, clinical presence or “whatever.” The stuff I have faced is far more insidious and nasty. It has come from other doctors and staff, not from patients.

      • blancheknott

        Notably, in the last 3 years, hardly anyone from the largest medical groups, [e.g. Kaiser Permanente] shows up on these discipline lists, unless it involves a sexual offence.

        • Richard Willner

          There is a very good reason for this, Blancheknott. If you have figured out that there are two standards, one for the docs employed by corporate America and one for the solo ones in private practice, that is a good start. Email me, please.

    • Tamara

      “the suicide rate of female physicians is over three times that of male physicians.”

      Three times greater; eight times greater;….. y’all are just making stuff up. Give us a cold, hard, quantitative citation, please.

      • blancheknott

        Tamara, read my post. Nothing is more cold & hard than a presentation at a public meeting of the Medical Board of California. And no one is more quantitative than William Norcross, MD. His statements have revoked many California licenses. My remark at the meeting didn’t make it into the minutes; but these meetings are recorded, so it should be available on YouTube.

        • Tamara

          Well if the peer-reviewed Medscape article which Miss Linda cited, which says “The rates for male and female physicians are roughly equal,” is wrong, then maybe your Mister Norcross needs to see that it’s retracted.

          • Richard Willner

            While all of you are talking about the statistics, I personally answer a Hotline where only Physicians and Surgeons call. I had two calls this week from doctors who were seriously depressed. I invite others to do what I did, that is, have a Hotline and make the number and the email available to Physicians. 506-621-1670 and the email: info@PeerReview.org

    • Richard Willner

      There is an inside story on PACE, CPAP and all of the other players. If a doctor is “asked” to participate in a PHP (Physician Health Program), it is time for a quick Curbside Consult.

  • PamelaWibleMD

    We can not be healers and victims at the same time. We need to stop taking the abuse. Don’t like your job? Feel trapped? Don’t suffer in isolation. Ask for help. There are many resources out here to help docs find their joy in medicine. Here’s one: http://www.petgoatsandpapsmears.com/retreats.php

  • Richard Willner

    I just found an excellent book for Physicians. Written by William R. Taylor, MD. It is called: Intravenous Hope STAT. I saw Bill Taylor’s post on the bottom of this list of comments and I went searching on Amazon for it. Could not find it under his name. One needs to search under this title. This is high quality. As I have written below, we have maintained a Hotline for Physicians who are under the unbelievable stress of a Sham Peer Review or State Board abuse. We understand these problems quite well. It is not a “suicide hotline”. We urge 911 or the ER.

    Richard Willner
    The Center for Peer Review Justice
    info@PeerReview.org