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Ohio State Raising Awareness Of Physician Suicide

Ohio State University

The Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center is hosting a statewide conference to raise awareness about physician suicide.

"Some numbers suggest that physicians are twice as likely to commit suicide relative to other Americans, and at least one physician dies by suicide ever single day of the year, and that I would argue might be an underestimate," says Luan Phan, chair of the deparmtent of psychiatry and behavioral health at Ohio State.

Phan adds the nature of the profession contributes to suicide.

"Physicians carry a lot of burden," he says. "They tend to be in the shadows when it comes to this topic mainly because they feel like they need to be brave and be warriors in their field and be calm in the midst of the storms that they face every day.

He thinks some structural changes would help combat the problem.

"The hours are immense," Phan says. "That’s why there was a large push years ago to reduce the number of hours that our residents, our physicians in training have during their residency."

Clare Roth was former All Things Considered Host for 89.7 NPR News. She joined WOSU in February of 2017. After attending the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, she returned to her native Iowa as a producer for Iowa Public Radio.