The recent suicides of an NYU resident and a medical student highlight the growing mental health problem among physicians and physicians-in-training in this country.  This crisis is certainly not exclusive to physicians, as evidenced by the suicides of designer Kate Spade and television personality Anthony Bourdain.  However, suicide among physicians is of particular concern.  A literature review of physician suicide in Medline and PubMed yielded alarming results ...

Read more...

Surviving suicide loss is difficult. And in some sense, the resulting grief is open-ended. I am a mother and doctor whose two sons died by suicide associated with psychotic bipolar disorder. My ever-present sensitivity to the fierce loss of death by suicide is again touched when I hear of death by suicide. The suicides of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade triggered in me a renewed feeling of grief. Like so ...

Read more...

Summer is upon us, and with it comes the end of the academic year, graduations and the arrival of the newest crop of interns. Soon these fresh-faced physicians will enter into one of the most remarkable educational experiences of their medical careers: residency. Many of these soon-to-be-interns are looking to attendings now for advice on how to excel during (or survive through) the arduous first year of training. Suggestions like ...

Read more...

STAT_LogoOne of the most sought-after tickets on Broadway these days is Angels in America, a revival of Tony Kushner’s seminal play about the AIDS crisis and its aftermath. While only a few of us will be fortunate enough to see the show in person, everyone can benefit from the following insight: When the play originally debuted in ...

Read more...

I still feel a little anxiety whenever I ask someone about suicide. I have no fear when asking The Question -- “Have you been thinking about killing yourself?” -- but sometimes I find that I’m not breathing while I await the answer. What if this person says “yes”? This anxiety persists even though it’s literally part of my job to ask this question. Despite having asked this question thousands of times, I still ...

Read more...

It is not clear whether Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade were getting drug treatment for depression. What is clear is that suicide in the U.S. has never been higher even as the use of SSRI antidepressants has also never been higher. One in every eight American adults recently took an antidepressant says the CDC and the number is only rising. Are the drugs working? The use of ...

Read more...

I've thought a great deal about what to say, if anything, about the two suicides recently of two people who were not merely celebrities in the TMZ sense, but people who represented creativity -- perhaps in a way that seemed tangible to the rest of us -- and seem to have become celebrities almost by happenstance. Suicide is not an unfamiliar or difficult topic for me. After all, I am someone ...

Read more...

As is often the case when flying I was rewarded for offering a greeting to my row mate on the plane with a bit of insight and knowledge I’d have missed had I not simply reached out a hand and said, “Hi, I’m Darrell.” My momentary companion (we each moved to more spacious seats) had been a schoolmate of the recently deceased Kate Spade. He confirmed her years-long struggle with ...

Read more...

“I am so happy I’m not in residency anymore!” he said with a big grin on his face. “I mean, I learned a lot, don’t get me wrong,” he tried to rectify the situation after realizing who he was talking to, “I just remember how tired I was and how I never saw my family.” This was not the first, nor the last, time I heard something like this. So many ...

Read more...

Where I practice, the process of referring a patient suffering a mental illness is quite infuriating. The wait to get in to see a psychiatrist or psychologist can be months all the while patients are suffering. Worse yet, with certain insurances, there are just no mental health providers available for any of their covered patients. The failure of treating mental health disease in the U.S. is glaring. In the U.S., approximately ...

Read more...

61 Pages

Most Popular

Join 141,000+ subscribers

Get the best of KevinMD in your inbox

Sign me up! It's free. 
close-link
✓ Join 141,000+ subscribers 
✓ Get KevinMD's 5 most popular stories
Subscribe. It's free.
close-image