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March 27, 1972

Suicide-Prone Physicians

JAMA. 1972;219(13):1762. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03190390046020

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To the Editor.—  The problem of suicide among psychiatrists deserves more serious thought than that in your admonition to the "suicide-prone healer of the mind": "Psychiatrist, Mind Thy Psyche" (218:1823, 1971). Does working the specialty of psychiatry in some way predispose an individual to suicide, or does psychiatry attract more suicide-prone physicians? If the former is true, what is it that predisposes? If the latter, how can these self-assaultive people be identified among applicants for psychiatric training? Flippant clichés will not answer these questions.