National Physician Suicide Awareness Day - September 17, 2020
In order to address the issue of physician suicide, the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors (CORD), in collaboration with AAEM, ACEP, ACOEP, EMRA, RSA, RSO and SAEM have come together to annually dedicate September 17 as National Physician Suicide Awareness (NPSA) Day.
The primary purpose of the event is to create a day to commemorate colleagues lost to suicide and to raise awareness about the issue internally and externally by shedding a light on it. Through this, we hope that we will lessen the stigma for physicians and all other clinicians to speak about their struggles either privately or openly - and seek help.
“Our goal, not to lose one.” - Thomas J. Nasca, MD MACP
Physician suicide is a tremendous issue in healthcare today. While estimates of the actual number of physician suicides vary, literature has shown that the relative risk for suicide being 2.27 times greater among women and 1.41 times higher among men versus the general population. Each physician suicide is a devastating loss affecting everyone - family, friends, colleagues and up to 1 million patients per year. It is both a very personal loss and a public health crisis. Vision Zero calls on individuals, residency programs, health care organizations and national groups to make a commitment to break down stigma, increase awareness, open the conversation, decrease the fear of consequences, reach out to colleagues, recognize warning signs and learn to approach our colleagues who may be at risk. Let us challenge each other as individuals, communities, institutions and organizations to make changes to reach zero physician suicides.
Shed light on this issue and change the culture of medicine to save our own lives.