On March 4, 2015, JAMA Psychiatry published an article entitled “Depression and Suicide Among Physician Trainees: Recommendations for a National Response” calling for “[a] national commitment to support residents and fellows throughout the challenges of medical training.” However, we believe that the term “physician trainees” should also be inclusive of medical students.
There is another reason wellness is now stressed so heavily in medical schools, and it is one that is not often talked about — physician suicides. As many as 400 physicians commit suicide each year. That is equivalent to four medical school classes who take their lives every single year.
The circumstances under which Jane and I met were less than ideal. That day, I had already seen a family of maggots making a happy living in someone’s foot and been chastised by my attending for failing to recognize the imprecision of my visual acuity in assessing a patient’s ascites — how else could I do so without a measuring tape in my pocket and daily charts of his abdominal circumference?