Category: Wellness

The Hidden Struggle: Uncovering Barriers to Mental Health Care for Physicians
by Daniel Saddawi-Konefka, MD, MBA

The incidence of mental health symptoms is alarmingly high amongst physicians (1). Pre-pandemic, rates of depression and anxiety were upwards of 30% (2), and post-traumatic stress disorder affects approximately 10% of physicians. Data suggests that these rates are on the rise. Meta-analysis suggests that rates of depression amongst physicians increased over the last few decades to the tune of 0.5% per year (3). Sadly, the consequences of this are profound. Physicians complete suicide at a rate 1.44 times higher than non-physicians (4), with anesthesiologists at statistically higher risk than other physicians. The reasons for this are incompletely understood but may be due to higher rates of psychological distress, access to more lethal means, or larger barriers to care access.

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