In the United States, 400 physicians commit suicide annually – an average of one per day. Physicians have the highest rate of suicide of any profession; almost double that of the general population. While physician suicide has reached epidemic proportions, the general public is relatively unaware of this tragic phenomenon. Robyn Simon has produced a documentary film, Do No Harm, to shed light on this taboo topic.
I was 12 years old in 1987 when the first physician I knew committed suicide. My father was the seventh physician to join The Doctors Clinic in 1971. I was raised attending summertime backyard picnics at other physicians’ homes and remember most of their families and children. It was a close-knit community of medical providers back then; something that may have prevented more tragic events like this from occurring.