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PBS Documentary on Physician Depression

PBS to Air Documentary on Physician Depression and Suicide

Physicians are more likely to commit suicide than other professionals and members of the general population of the same age and gender. Yet the culture of medicine often discourages physicians and medical students from seeking treatment for depression, substance abuse and other health problems. Issues of stigma and fear of negative impact on career development may prevent recognition and treatment of depression in physicians, sometimes with deadly consequences.

An upcoming PBS documentary may help shed more light on this important topic for all of us.

Produced as part of an educational campaign on physician suicide sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the one-hour documentary film, "Struggling in Silence: Physician Depression and Suicide," will be aired on Los Angeles-area PBS stations KLCS-TV on Monday, May 5, at 10 p.m. and on KCET-TV on Sunday, May 11, at 6 p.m.

Additional information is available on the AFSP website at www.afsp.org and at www.doctorswithdepression.org.

Closer to home, the Well-Being of Physicians Committee here at Cedars-Sinai is designed to provide assistance and information regarding health and well-being issues to physicians and other licensed independent practitioners, with specific attention to those issues that may place members of this group at risk.

More information about the committee, and access to information that might be helpful to you or a colleague, can be found on the committee's website on the Cedars-Sinai Intranet (not accessible off-campus). In addition, the Texas Medical Association website, www.texmed.org/Template.aspx?id=27, offers educational information and online programs on issues impacting physician health and wellness.