2Gazi University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Ankara, Turkiye
Objective: Among physicians, men are 1.41 times, and women are 2.27 times more likely to die by suicide than the general population. Physician suicide exhibits a double peak, with the highest incidence occurring in late middle age, and the second peak during the training years. There is a limited number of studies on physician suicides in Turkiye. This study aims to examine completed physician and medical student suicides and explore the associated socio-demographic, professional, and suicidological parameters over a 16-year period.
Method: The research involves an explanatory study of medical student and physician suicide deaths in Turkiye from 2006 to 2021, based on data from the Google database and online news sites. In the initial stage, specific keywords were used to search Google for news related to the topic. This process yielded 892 results, from which 133 relevant cases were identified. Subsequently, the study extended to searching 32 online national newspapers and 28 online news sites using the same keywords, leading to the discovery of an additional 33 cases. Furthermore, 32 cases were obtained from four widely used social media sites and seven health workers’ news portal.
Results: The study evaluated 138 cases as definite/probable suicide deaths. The mean age of individuals was 38.64±12.80. Most of the subjects were specialists (39.9%). Drug intoxication (27.9%) was the most common method of suicide, followed by jumping from height (21.7%). Familial problems were cited most frequently (26.5%), followed by occupational/academic problems (22.1%). Regarding the specialties, anesthesiology (12.5%), gynecology and obstetrics (10.2%), and psychiatry (10.2%) had the highest occurrences among the suicide cases.
Conclusion: The study revealed that academic problems among medical students and marital discord among specialists emerged as the key reasons for suicide. These issues are preventable and warrant further investigation through focused research.