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Rates of Suicidal Ideation Among US Surgeons 'Very Concerning'

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posted on Jan, 17 2011 @ 06:57 PM
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Rates of Suicidal Ideation Among US Surgeons 'Very Concerning'


www.medscape.com

January 17, 2011 — An anonymous survey of US surgeons finds that about 1 in 16 had suicidal thoughts in the past year, yet few sought help from a mental health professional.

"The fact that 6% of US surgeons thought of killing themselves in the last 12 months is certainly very concerning," Tait D. Shanafelt, MD, director of the Mayo Clinic Department of Medicine Program on Physician Well-Being, Rochester, Minnesota, told Medscape Medical News.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Jan, 17 2011 @ 06:57 PM
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This article states that above the age of 45, the rate increases to 1.5 to 3.0 times that of the regular population. I actually do find this pretty alarming.

These professionals are in directly charge of our health when we are unable to speak or act for ourselves.

Having said that, I'd be interested in seeing what data there is on overall suicidal thoughts by the general population. Is it increasing as a whole? At the same rate? I don't doubt it.

www.medscape.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Jan, 17 2011 @ 07:01 PM
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1/16 is very little IMO.

In the general population I would say that the percentage of people who think of suicide is much greater than that.



posted on Jan, 17 2011 @ 07:39 PM
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Having worked for a life insurance company for a while I can assure you that doctors and dentists have the highest suicide rates of any profession.



posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 03:37 AM
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With the pressures and imbalances going on within the system it is not surprising. These are highly skilled and dedicated people who just want to get on and do their job, but the government red tape and corruption is just making it harder instead of support them.



posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 10:12 AM
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reply to post by sbctinfantry
 


Old story, but important. Don't want a suicidal surgeon with a knife working on me!



High-risk profession: Suicide rate of U.S. doctors is one per day

More than a quarter of primary care doctors reported being “burnt out,” in part due to worsening time pressures and a chaotic work pace, which were “strongly associated with low physician satisfaction.”
300-400 doctors in the United States kill themselves every year, or roughly 1 per day. Male doctors have suicide rates 1.4 times that of the general population, while female doctors have twice the rate of depression and 2.3 times the suicide rate when compared with women who are not physicians.

References:
Help for Today’s Tense, Frustrated Doctors. Medscape, 2009.


I in 16 is super high btw.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicate Americans commit suicide at a rate of about 12 per 100,000 residents (Fields & Jones, 1999).

But what I find MOST interesting is that it's almost impossible to find "suicide rates by profession." That didn't use to be the case. Wonder why it changed?






edit on 18/1/11 by soficrow because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 19 2011 @ 01:24 AM
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Originally posted by soficrow

But what I find MOST interesting is that it's almost impossible to find "suicide rates by profession." That didn't use to be the case. Wonder why it changed?


The place to find out is a life insurance company, actuaries calculate life insurance premiums based on the likelihood of an event happening, so they must get these stats from somewhere.

In Australia we have the Dept of Births, Deaths and Marriages, maybe the life companies get their stats from the equivalent in each country they operate in.



posted on Jan, 19 2011 @ 10:51 AM
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I spent most of my adult working directly with surgeons in the Operating Room and in Specialty Clinics, and I know this life firsthand. Everyone talks about all the money they make, and the dysfunctional personalities many seem to have, but you oughta have to walk a mile in their shoes. How much money would any of you demand for working 60-70 hours a week year in and year out? The general public has no clue about the kind of stress these people work under. Call is generally shared a week at a time, and you have to answer every phone call without exception. Say your clinic starts at 8am. You will see anywhere from 20-40 patients in the morning, and you must dictate on the charts of every one. If you have a patient with a difficult problem, particularly if it is a first time visit, you're looking at putting yourself 30-45 minutes behind schedule right off the bat. Believe me, there are days that you can easily have two or three of these kinds of patients in one morning. Say you get a couple of calls from the ER about a very sick or injured patient requesting consultation, and you're pushing being three hours behind schedule. The best surgeons operate a lot because they are in demand. Now it's 1:15pm and you have a difficult operation scheduled at 1pm. The Operating Room is pissed off at you because your lateness is screwing up their schedule, so you have the OR secretary order lunch for you and your assistant, but you only get ten minutes to gulp it down. The surgery finally begins at 2:15, as the patient has to be anesthetized, put on the table, prepped, and draped. About 4pm the ER calls again with a broken bone that needs to be fixed, or if you are a general surgeon, a ruptured appendix. If your surgery is finished by 5pm, you still have to dictate the procedure and talk to the family. Before you go to the ER, you slug back a coke because you gotta keep moving or you'll neve get done. It is now 6pm. Somewhere in this mess of a day, you have to make rounds on your patients in the hospital, many of whom are unhappy because it's so late in the day. You can't just put it off 'till tomorrow. Then you have to dictate on the charts of each patient you saw on rounds. You finally get ready to call it a day (and this really happens) as you slip on your coat your beeper goes off, or the nurse says there is a call for you. Being on call, you must answer. It doesn't matter it's pushing 9pm.

No wonder such a percentage of surgeons are having suicidal ideation. Remember, it's only Monday, and there are 6 days left in your call rotation.



posted on Jan, 19 2011 @ 11:22 AM
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Originally posted by Krusty the Klown

Originally posted by soficrow

But what I find MOST interesting is that it's almost impossible to find "suicide rates by profession." That didn't use to be the case. Wonder why it changed?


The place to find out is a life insurance company, actuaries calculate life insurance premiums based on the likelihood of an event happening, so they must get these stats from somewhere.

In Australia we have the Dept of Births, Deaths and Marriages, maybe the life companies get their stats from the equivalent in each country they operate in.


Medical and life insurance companies feed their data to re-insurance companies, whose actuaries analyze the compiled data and create stats by any number of criteria. The info is a privately owned commodity.

30 and 40 years ago, government stat departments did the same thing. But no more, apparently. I'm wondering why not. Cost cutting? Something to suppress?


reply to post by deadred
 


Thank you. You've just described why the system has to change. It's not human and it doesn't work.



posted on Jan, 19 2011 @ 04:35 PM
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reply to post by deadred
 


I hear you, I don't think I could be a doctor, because I couldn't stomach giving people bad news all the time, no wonder they get depressed.



posted on Jan, 20 2011 @ 10:29 AM
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Originally posted by deadred
I spent most of my adult working directly with surgeons in the Operating Room and in Specialty Clinics, and I know this life firsthand. Everyone talks about all the money they make, and the dysfunctional personalities many seem to have, but you oughta have to walk a mile in their shoes. How much money would any of you demand for working 60-70 hours a week year in and year out? The general public has no clue about the kind of stress these people work under. Call is generally shared a week at a time, and you have to answer every phone call without exception. Say your clinic starts at 8am. You will see anywhere from 20-40 patients in the morning, and you must dictate on the charts of every one. If you have a patient with a difficult problem, particularly if it is a first time visit, you're looking at putting yourself 30-45 minutes behind schedule right off the bat. Believe me, there are days that you can easily have two or three of these kinds of patients in one morning. Say you get a couple of calls from the ER about a very sick or injured patient requesting consultation, and you're pushing being three hours behind schedule. The best surgeons operate a lot because they are in demand. Now it's 1:15pm and you have a difficult operation scheduled at 1pm. The Operating Room is pissed off at you because your lateness is screwing up their schedule, so you have the OR secretary order lunch for you and your assistant, but you only get ten minutes to gulp it down. The surgery finally begins at 2:15, as the patient has to be anesthetized, put on the table, prepped, and draped. About 4pm the ER calls again with a broken bone that needs to be fixed, or if you are a general surgeon, a ruptured appendix. If your surgery is finished by 5pm, you still have to dictate the procedure and talk to the family. Before you go to the ER, you slug back a coke because you gotta keep moving or you'll neve get done. It is now 6pm. Somewhere in this mess of a day, you have to make rounds on your patients in the hospital, many of whom are unhappy because it's so late in the day. You can't just put it off 'till tomorrow. Then you have to dictate on the charts of each patient you saw on rounds. You finally get ready to call it a day (and this really happens) as you slip on your coat your beeper goes off, or the nurse says there is a call for you. Being on call, you must answer. It doesn't matter it's pushing 9pm.

No wonder such a percentage of surgeons are having suicidal ideation. Remember, it's only Monday, and there are 6 days left in your call rotation.


Thank you. You've just described why the system has to change. It's not human and it doesn't work.

Doctors, especially surgeons, are suicidal because they're over-stressed from over work. Anyone working in a demanding job needs time to recharge. ...Our system is set up so that professionals do NOT have the re-cupe and regroup time for themselves.



posted on Jan, 20 2011 @ 10:47 AM
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Whenever I go to my doctor for a visit I usually wait about an hour after my appointed time before I finally get to see him. He always apologizes for being so late, and it does bother me sometimes, but I know he is a very good doctor who is in high demand, so I try not to let the lateness bother me.
It's incredible how many patients he tries to see in one day, while still being on call every Thursday and Friday and also being the city's coroner on the weekends.
How does he have time to spend with his own family, which their picture I see on his desk?
He barely has time for his patients, let alone his family, that he is working so hard for.

It's not surprising at all that many doctors/surgeons feel they just want to give up sometimes.



posted on Jan, 20 2011 @ 10:52 AM
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... Nothing to see here folks. Everything is peachy, and all is well. Move along *drone voice*... *mumbles* Everything is great, wonderful, fantastic, and bacon spankin'. Nothing is wrong at all. You are just a conspiracy theorist loony if you think otherwise. Ignorance is bliss, strength is weakness, war is peace, suicide is living.



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