Petersen MR, Burnett CA., 2008 [32]

The suicide mortality of working physicians and dentists

181 male physicians, 61 female dentists and 22 female physicians

Using all deaths and corresponding census data in 26 US states from 1984 through 1992, we examine the suicide risk for working physicians and dentists.

Female white women show a higher hate of suicide. Only older male physicians and dentists have a high suicide rate, which partially explains the varied conclusions in literature.


Data do not allow separated calculations for several medical specialties; therefore, suicide attempts could not be analyzed. Non-white male individuals and female dentists were in a small amount for the analysis. 22 deaths among female white physicians is a reasonably small number. The latter was more than two times higher than the expected, which was statistically significant. Another limitation is that death certificate data include habitual occupation, whereas census data include current occupation.

Garelick AI et al., 2007 [21]

Which doctors and with what problems contact a specialist service for doctors? A cross-sectional investigation

123 physicians contacted between February 2002 and February 2004

To delineate the characteristics of doctors utilizing the service, to describe their psychological morbidity, and to determine if early intervention is achieved.

Depression, anxiety, interpersonal problems, self-esteem and work-related issues were the most prevalent. Physicians show high levels of distress that reflect in the significant proportion of those who were at some risk of suicide; however, low rates of severe psychiatric illness were found.


The study presents a number of limitations in so far as it has no control group and clients referred themselves to the service (although they were often strongly encouraged to do so).