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Comment & Response
December 2, 2020

Universal Suicide Prevention for Health Care Professionals

Author Affiliations
  • 1Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, The Guthrie Clinic, Sayre, Pennsylvania
  • 3Division of Primary Care and Population Health, Department of Medicine, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California
JAMA Surg. 2021;156(3):290-291. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2020.5634

To the Editor We read with interest the article by Ji et al1 and the accompanying Invited Commentary by Danhauer et al.2 With respect to the focus of identifying US surgeons’ risk factors for suicide death, this observational study of National Violent Death Reporting System data adds a few insights to physician suicide literature, particularly regarding examining surgeons’ incidence of suicide death, their race/ethnicity, and age. Past studies primarily sought to assess burnout and suicidal ideation, not suicide death, among surgeons.3 Also, the finding that older surgeons may be at higher risk for suicide death could be seen as consistent with previous studies of suicidal ideation occurring at higher rates among surgeons 45 years and older compared with the general population.4

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