Study: Errors lead surgeons to contemplate suicide

Las Vegas Sun/AP, January 18, 2011
A study suggests medical errors, job burnout and depression lead surgeons to contemplate suicide at higher rates than the general public, and they're much less likely to seek help. Fear of losing their jobs contributes to surgeons' reluctance to get mental health treatment, according to the study. Nearly 8,000 surgeons participated. About 6% reported recent suicidal thoughts; the rate was 16% among those who'd made a recent major medical error although it wasn't known if that was the reason. Only about one-fourth of those with suicidal thoughts said they'd sought professional mental health. By contrast, among the general population, about 3% have suicidal thoughts and 44% of them seek mental health treatment, other studies have shown.

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