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June 5, 1987

Results and Implications of the AMA-APA Physician Mortality ProjectStage II

JAMA. 1987;257(21):2949-2953. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390210097033

In response to several House of Delegates resolutions and Council on Scientific Affairs recommendations, the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association have completed a joint study on physician suicide. Comprehensive interviews were conducted with surviving relatives and friends of 142 physicians who died by suicide and 101 physicians who died of causes other than suicide. The latter group, matched to the suicide group according to sex and age, served as a control sample. Bivariate relationships were found between several variables and risk for suicide, and all were examined in a multivariate framework. A preliminary profile of the physicians who took their own lives showed that they more often made prior suicide attempts, verbalized suicidal intentions, self-prescribed psychoactive drugs, and suffered financial losses.

(JAMA 1987;257:2949-2953)