Wednesday, January 19, 2011

One in 16 surgeons consider suicide

By Frederik Joelving, NEW YORK | Tue Jan 18, 2011

(Reuters Health) - A considerable number of U.S. surgeons struggle with thoughts of suicide, according to a new survey that highlights burnout and past medical errors as possible reasons.

Researchers found more than 6 percent of surgeons had thought about killing themselves within the past year. Among those aged 55 to 64, the number was three times higher than the national levels for that age group.

"What we are seeing through this work is that there is a high amount of burnout and stress among America's physicians, with potentially serious consequences for both physicians and their patients," said Dr. Tait Shanafelt of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, whose findings appear in the Archives of Surgery.

"It isn't necessarily that having thoughts of suicide endangers patient health," he added, "but ... Read more>>

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