400 Doctors are Killing Themselves Every Year: The Role of Licensure Complaints in Doctor Suicide

Here’s an incredibly incisive piece about medical licensing board complaints and the adverse psychological sequelae.


Matt Freeman DNP, MPH

“Doug” looked happy to be in a white coat. He was energetic, intrigued, and looked genuinely happy to be working with me. Doug was medical student, assigned to me just for a few evenings at a free clinic. Like me, he spoke Spanish, and liked the opportunity to put his language skills to work.

Doug was ahead of the game. He was quick to formulate a provisional diagnosis and plan. One patient had come in for a follow up on her high blood pressure. I would often ask questions like “so what crosses your mind in a hypertension follow-up visit?” Most students would volunteer thoughtful suggestions like, “Make certain that she hasn’t run out of pills.” Doug was thinking ahead: “See if she has signs of heart failure.” That was worth an “A+” in my experience teaching first- and second-year students.

Doug went on to residency…

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