Understanding Risk Factors and Warning Signs for Suicide: A Primer for Preventing Suicide in Physicians

  • Ruby C. Castilla-PuentesEmail author


Compared to the general population, suicide in physicians occurs at a heightened rate. The existence of mood disorder and substance abuse disorder is a major risk factor for suicide in both physicians and the general population. However, depression in physicians is much more difficult to recognize as the individuals in this profession are less likely to admit they are experiencing mental health battles. In addition, only 35% of physicians have consistent health care, further supporting the idea that this profession does not support clinicians recognizing their own health struggles. This chapter emphasizes the key differences between risk factors and warning signs of physicians who may be experiencing suicidal ideations and behaviors and reiterates the importance of both prevention and treatment in this population of professionals.


Physicians Mental illness Risk factors Self-medication Warning signs Suicide 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Board of Directors American Society of Hispanic Psychiatry, Medical Safety at Johnson and JohnsonPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Dornsife School of Public HealthDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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