Many Surgeons Experience Depression, Consider Suicide

By Staff Writer

Despite the fact that many surgeons experience depression and suicidal thoughts, few ever seek help from rehab facilities, according to a new study published in the Archives of Surgery.

Instead of seeking professional help for their emotional issues, the study found that they tend to self-medicate, which increases the risk of developing a potentially dangerous addiction.

For the study, researchers from the Mayo Clinic surveyed nearly 8,000 surgeons. More than 6 percent of the respondents reported considering suicide at some point in their careers, which is significantly higher than in the general population.

The researchers said that stress from the job is one of the likely causes of the increased depression and suicide risk. Among surgeons who reported recently making a serious medical error, more than 16 percent said that they had considered suicide.

Fear of losing one’s job was listed as the most common reason these professionals gave for failing to seek therapy. However, the researchers found that those who did seek help experienced few setbacks to their careers.

They concluded that any worker who is experiencing stress due to their job should seek treatment rather than turning to drugs and alcohol.