Physician Wellness

Facts about physician depression and suicide

  • Each year in the U.S., roughly 300–400 physicians die by suicide.
  • In the U.S., suicide deaths are 250–400 percent higher among female physicians when compared to females in other professions.
  • In the general population, males complete suicide four times more often than females. However, female physicians have a rate equal to male physicians.
  • Medical students have rates of depression 15 to 30 percent higher than the general population. Depression is a major risk factor in physician suicide. Other factors include bipolar disorder and alcohol and substance abuse.
  • Women physicians have a higher rate of major depression than age-matched women with doctorate degrees.
  • Contributing to the higher suicide rate among physicians is their higher completion to attempt ratio, which may result from greater knowledge of lethality of drugs and easy access to means.
  • Women physicians have a higher rate of major depression than age-matched women with doctorate degrees.

Confidential Assistance

Asking for help is one of the most difficult and heroic things you can do.

Are you a physician or a dentist or their spouse who is trying to live with the following problems?

  • Depression/Anxiety/Anger?
  • Alcoholism?
  • Drug Abuse?
  • Severe Stress?

You are not alone. You and your family are important. Asking for help is one of the most difficult and heroic things you can do.

The Physicians’ and Dentists’ Confidential Assistance Line is here to help. This 24-hour phone service provides completely confidential doctor-to-doctor assistance.

This service is free and it will not result in any form of disciplinary action or referral to any disciplinary body. Our goal is to help, not to discipline.

Call:
(650) 756-7787 (northern California)
(213) 383-2691 (southern California)

Download our brochure for more information (PDF)

About the Confidential Assistance Line

The Physicians’ and Dentists’ Confidential Assistance Line is a name given to a phone line service for physicians, dentists and their family members who request help with problems of alcoholism, drug dependence or mental illness within their families.

When you call the confidential line, you reach an answering service that relays the message (name and phone number) to the on-call physician, who then returns the call. Physicians and Dentists staffing the line are selected because of their experience with alcoholism, drug dependence and mental health and their ability to work with doctors as patients. They speak with the caller and gather enough information to make the best referral to an appropriate consultant. They may also, if appropriate, refer calls from spouses to trained counselors who are also members of the CMA Alliance.

Confidentiality

The Physicians’ and Dentists’ Confidential Line provides counseling for the caller on a completely confidential basis. If the caller is a distressed doctor, assistance takes the form of pre-treatment counseling, referral to an appropriate therapeutic situation, development of a treatment plan, etc. If the caller is concerned about an impaired doctor, counseling/information is given about constructive ways to show concern, how to urge the doctor into a therapeutic relationship, and what resources exist for intervention and referral.

This service is completely divorced from any disciplinary action. If a caller wishes to complain about a physician, it is explained that the Medical Board of California (MBC) is the only agency authorized to take action against a physician’s license and the caller is referred to the MBC at (800) 633-2322. If it is regarding a complaint about a dentist, the Dental Board of California would be the agency to contact and their telephone number is (916) 263-2335.

This project received approval of the CMA Board of Trustees at its meetings February 6-11, 1976, and September 30, 1977.

If you are a physician in need of confidential assistance and would like help dealing with events in your life you can also contact:

  • Affiliated with Sutter Medical Group: 800-477-2258
  • Affiliated with Kaiser Permanente: 916-746-3405
  • Affiliated with Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital: contact the chair of the Physician Wellness Committee

Mission

The Placer Nevada County Medical Society's mission is to promote the science and art of medicine, the care and well being of patients, the protection of public health and the betterment of the medical profession.

Copyright 2015 - Placer Nevada County Medical Society

Contact Us

Placer-Nevada County Medical Society
4220 Rocklin Rd. Suite 5
Rocklin, CA 95677
916-630-7030