6 themes linked to physician suicides, study finds 

Six overarching themes contributed to physician job stress and suicides, a study published June 29 in Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior found.

Researchers used data from the National Violent Death Reporting System database between 2003 and 2018 to develop themes representing death investigation narratives of 200 physician suicides with implicated job problems. 

"We often overlook the physical health of our health care workers, but poor health can lead to difficulty performing tasks at work, which then leads to job stress and mental health issues," said Kristen Kim, MD, corresponding author and a resident physician in psychiatry at UC San Diego Health.

The six themes identified by researchers were: 

  • Incapacity to work due to deterioration of physical health

  • Substance use that was jeopardizing employment

  • Interaction between mental health and work-related issues

  • Relationship conflicts affecting work

  • Legal problems 

  • Increased financial stress

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