The term burnout (considered the main cause of suicide) is being used by the media and medical journals worldwide with an increasing rate, why? In this matter, an article affirms, “There is a severe and worsening epidemic of physician burnout in the United States, which threatens the health of doctors and patients alike. What is burnout? How does it affect doctors? And, how can this affect patient care? Finally, what can be done about this issue, to breathe life and energy back into the field of medicine?” (see entire article Harvard Health Publishing, June 22, 2018).


The studies we cited in this article are referred to American professionals but the trend has a worldwide amplitude.


One of the more relevant effects of this situation is suicide among doctors (and medical staff) has long been a silent epidemic within the medical community affirms an article with this suggestive title, “Why so many doctors kill themselves,” that was published in “Pamela Wible MD. America’s leading voice for ideal medical care website” (August 24, 2018).

See the Mayo Clinic’s video Preventing Medical Trainee Suicide

The author continues “Physician suicide is a global public health crisis. More than one million Americans lose their doctors each year to suicide—just in the US, (Washington Post, 2014,  When doctors commit suicide, it’s often hushed up.” ). Many doctors have lost several colleagues to suicide. One doctor told me he lost eight physicians during his career with no chance to grieve.

Public perception maintains that doctors are successful, intelligent, wealthy, and immune from the problems of the masses. To patients, it is inconceivable that doctors would have the highest suicide rate of any profession (American Psychiatric Association – APA, Abstract 1-227, presented May 5, 2018).”

Of these 1,013 suicides of the  Physician Specialty Data Report, 888 are physicians and 125 are medical students. The majority (867) are in the USA and 146 are international. Surgeons have the greatest number of suicides on my registry, then anesthesiologists.”

However, when accounting for numbers of active physicians per speciality, anesthesiologists are more than twice as likely to die by suicide than any other physician. Surgeons are number two, then emergency medicine physicians, obstetrician/gynecologists, and psychiatrists (AAMC Physician Specialty Data Report. 2016). ” 

The unanswered question, ¿Is this epidemic near of being controlled?

Photo: Medscape.com