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Physician Burnout

Doctors have the highest suicide rate of any profession in the country: approximately 28 to 40 suicides per 100,000, according to the American Psychiatry Association. Every day, at least one doctor chooses to end his or her life. This is more than twice the national average for the population as a whole. Even among those who don’t spiral into depression and suicidal ideation, nearly half of physicians will struggle with burnout marked by physical and emotional exhaustion, a sense of emptiness and a nagging lack of accomplishment.

Part of the institute’s mission will be to extrapolate new science-based programs and remedies to address this issue through validated instruction of self-compassion, mindfulness training (including assessing and integrating existing compassion training protocols) and a heightened focus on mental health. 

“The United States is facing unprecedented levels of physician burnout, student suicides, and patient dissatisfaction,” said David Brenner, MD, vice chancellor for health sciences at UC San Diego. “UC San Diego is not immune to this, but we can be part of the answer. We are dedicated to tackling these problems at home and in creating solutions that can be used nationally.”