Physicians have higher rates of suicide than the general public despite having prestigious jobs respected by the public and good pay.

A new podcast and accompanying article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) looks at things that are important to know.

1. Increased suicidal ideation begins as early as medical school, with nearly 25 percent of students surveyed reporting suicidal ideation within the last 12 months. Obviously that does not mean medical schools cause suicide, it could mean that medical schools prize themselves on being stressful or it could even mean people with other qualities are more likely to go to medical school - but also have psychological issues.

2. Firearms, overdose and falls are the most common means, with benzodiazepines, barbiturates and antipsychotics being the most commonly used drugs.

3. Physicians don't have greater risk of death than non-doctors from anything except suicide.

4. Suicidal physicians don't trust in patient confidentiality any more than the public does. These worries about confidentiality, and fears of stigmatization and discrimination from peers, employers and licensing bodies, create barriers to care.

5. Complaints to regulatory bodies are associated with higher rates of suicidal ideation.