[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
September 25, 1987

Physician Suicide-Reply

Author Affiliations

American Medical Association Chicago

American Medical Association Chicago

JAMA. 1987;258(12):1607. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400120057018

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


In Reply.—  Dr Dempsey is correct in assuming that "control" is not synonymous with "normal." The control group is used to compare the occurrence of risk factors in the suicide cases with that in physicians who died of causes other than suicide. Further, controls were not randomly selected; they were physicians who died between 1980 and 1984, matched by age and sex to those in the suicide group. Clearly, one cannot make inferences to the entire physician population.Dr Day's concern about the role of malpractice in physician suicide, especially among anesthesiologists, cannot be answered with data collected from this study. Both the number of malpractice suits and the number of anesthesiologists were too small to conduct meaningful analysis.