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Suicide by health professionals: a retrospective mortality study in Australia, 2001–2012

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The known The risk of suicide may be higher for medical practitioners and nurses than for those in other occupations. This problem had not been assessed at a national level or by sex. 

The new Age-standardised rates of suicide were higher for female medical practitioners, and for male and female nurses, than for other occupations. The rate of suicide for health professionals with access to prescription medicines was higher than for health professionals without ready access to these means. 

The implications Suicide prevention initiatives should focus on workplace factors and differential risks for men and women employed as health professionals. 

In general, health professionals are healthier and live longer than the general population.1 However, research has identified elevated rates of suicidal ideation and death by suicide among certain groups of health professionals, including doctors, nurses and dentists.24

Suicides by health professionals typically have two distinguishing features. First, they are more likely to involve poisoning5

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