If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.
Residency is a time of tremendous personal and professional growth. However, medicine is a high-risk profession for development of stress, burnout and depression, especially for residents. A majority of residents show symptoms of burnout and about 30% of residents experience some level of depression during residency. Junior residents are at the highest risk. Tragically, the United States loses up to 400 physicians per year to suicide. Suicide is the leading cause of death among male residents and second among female residents. On a systems level, many contributors stem from our stressful clinical health care environment. On an individual level, the risk is sometimes exacerbated by physicians’ tendency to avoid taking care of ourselves and/or to avoid seeking or accepting help when we need it. We’re trying to change that. The good news is there are multiple pathways to self-care and increasing our individual resilience. They don’t all take a lot of time and many are fun! And if a resident needs help for depression, substance abuse or thoughts of suicide, help is available. We encourage you to take care of yourself. It’s also very important to remember that we are in this journey together. If you see a peer struggling, please reach out. If you are struggling, please reach out. And, don’t forget to breathe.