Suicidal doctors have excellent access to health care but appear to be under-treated for mental health problems, according to a new University of Michigan analysis.  

More physicians than non-physicians in their analysis had known mental health problems prior to suicide but that didn’t translate into a higher rate of antidepressant use. Major depression is a known risk factor for suicide, particularly for female physicians.

Stigma, lack of confidentiality, and desire to self-treat may explain why physicians don’t seek formal treatment for mental health problems, says lead author Katherine J. Gold, M.D., M.S.W., M.S., assistant professor of family medicine and of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Michigan Medical School.

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