Year: 2000 Source: Quarterly Journal of Medicine, v.93, no.6, (June 2000), p.351-357 SIEC No: 20010455

Death entry data for doctors who died by suicide or undetermined cause between 1979-1995 in England & Wales were used to compare methods used for suicide by doctors with those used by the general population. Methods used were analysed according to gender, occupational status & speciality, & to assess the extent to which access to dangerous means influence the pattern of suicide. Self-poisoning with drugs was more common among doctors than in the general population suicides, including in retired doctors. Half of the anaesthetists who died used anaesthetic agents. Findings seem to support the hypothesis that ready access to means influences the choice of method. Availability of method may be a factor contributing to the relatively high suicide rates of doctors. This fact might influence clinical management of doctors who are known to depressed or suicidal. (19 refs.)