Suicidal thoughts common among Swedish doctors

Almost every third Swedish doctor feels burned out, and just as many have suicidal thoughts. Harassment and bullying are also common, according to a study of the work environment at Karolinska University Hospital.

The results were based on the answers of 1,092 doctors, around 60 percent of the total. And according to Svenska Dagbladet, while the answers have not been fully analysed they clearly show that the doctors are not happy.

“Naturally, this is serious,” said Ann Fridner, researcher and project leader.

“But I’m not surprised. Unfortunately it’s the same pattern in the whole of the western world.”

Female doctors are thought to feel the worst: every third woman doctor is emotionally exhausted, compared to every fifth man.

However, men dominate when it comes to those who say they feel indifferent about their work – which is another sign of burn-out.

The study also confirmed that doctors as a group are at increased risk of suicide. One in three doctors – and notably more men than women – answered that they have at some point considered killing themselves.

Between a quarter and a fifth have gone so far as to consider a suicide method.

Almost one in four male doctors and one in three female doctors claimed to have noticed that someone had been subjected to humiliation or harassment in their workplace in the last six months. Every seventh doctor said that he or she had been bullied.