Junior doctors doing it tough
Doctors experience higher levels of suicide and mental distress than their non-medical peers. A review of studies in the area found male doctors had a 26% higher risk of suicide, while female doctors had a 146% higher risk (more than double) than the general population.
And a recent survey, conducted by the mental health foundation beyondblue, confirmed there were higher rates of suicidal thoughts and psychological distress among doctors and medical students than in the general community.
But beyond the numbers are tragic stories of young individuals who lost their lives to suicide. In recent months, the suicide of four junior doctors in New South Wales has prompted the state government to investigate the issue. News reports have suggested at least 20 doctors took their own lives between 2007 and 2016 in NSW.
Family members have pointed to stress, “brutal expectations” and working hours as having had an impact on the doctors’ decisions to end their lives.