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Recognizing Physician Suicide Awareness Day

It is not a secret that physician burnout and suicide are more prevalent than ever. The Physicians Foundation’s 2022 Survey of America’s Physicians found that “more than two years into the pandemic, the state of physician well-being remains low”.
• Six in 10 physicians have felt inappropriate feelings of anger, tearfulness, or anxiety
• One-third have felt hopeless or have felt that they have no purpose

• Half have reported withdrawing from family/ friends/co-workers

In 2021, The Physician Foundation study found:

• Fifty five percent of physicians know of a physician who has either considered, attempted, or died by suicide in their career.

• Twenty percent of physicians know of a physician who has either considered, attempted, or died by suicide during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Physicians Foundation reported that despite the high incidence of mental health symptoms, only 14 percent of physicians sought medical attention. We believe that one life lost to suicide is one too many, that is why, on September 17th, the Pennsylvania Physicians Health Program (PHP), the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED), and its County Medical Societies teamed up to raise Recognizing Physician Suicide Awareness Day awareness of Physician Suicide this year, sharing resources, statistics, and other digital content on social media leading up to National Physician Suicide Awareness Day (NPSA).
 
Our special feature inside this issue called “Physician Suicide Prevention: Self-care and Seeking Help” was shared as part
of our recognition of NPSA Day and acknowledges the importance of putting yourself first in order to help others.
As physicians often take better care of their patients than they do themselves, Physician Suicide Awareness Day remembers those that were gone too soon and provides resources and hope for those who are struggling.