This may come as a surprise, but while doctors are saving lives every day, they're also taking lives—their own. In the United States alone, 300 to 400 physicians die by suicide each year. Or put another way, a doctor a day is killing herself or himself. This is shocking—and it is tragic—because many of these deaths can be prevented.
Many physicians are not receiving the kind of care that they so artfully and skillfully provide for their own patients. In fact, detailed interviews with family members—as well as friends and colleagues—reveal that 10 to 15 percent of deceased physicians do not receive any care at all.
Their loved ones are left to grapple with the sad and chilling paradox that someone they loved and respected as a guardian and protector of life was unable to apply that to their own. Their worries, fears, and pleas for help went unheeded, and loved ones are left with heartache, regret, and the common refrain, "Something has to change."