A Survey to Assess the Need for a National Registry to Track Physician Suicide

Sima S Pendharkar*, Tiffany I Leung, Ibrahim B Barry, Steve Miller, Chwen-Yuen Angie Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Physician suicide is a growing public health crisis that affects the medical community and patients. Literature on physician suicide has been published since 1903. However, the epidemiology of physician suicide including incidence is unclear due to a lack of accurate data. Lack of reliable data can lead to barriers in developing effective physician suicide prevention programs and creating policies to address the issue. Data are often collected from multiple data sources that each have limitations resulting in crude estimates of incidence and persistent barriers to surveillance. The aim of this study was to survey the medical community to determine the perceived usefulness of a physician suicide registry, with an accompanying data warehouse, to collect and store information about suicides reported from the community. Physicians at all stages of their training and careers would be key stakeholders contributing information to the registry and therefore their perception of such a tool to track physician suicides is important. Results show that 70.0% of respondents expressed that they somewhat to strongly agree with the approach; and 74.2% agreed with a statement that more research is needed on physician suicide. The proposed registry to better track physician suicide is a possible solution to better address physician suicide that has garnered initial support from the medical community as reflected by the survey results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)813-819
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatric Quarterly
Issue number2
Early online date30 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Prevention
  • Resident
  • Suicide


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