Women physicians have a higher incidence of major depression than women with other doctoral degrees. While males in the general population complete suicide more often than females, female physicians complete suicide at rates equal to male physicians. Suicide deaths in female physicians are 2.5 to 4 times higher than females in other professions.
A survey by Gold of physician mothers revealed that fewer than half had sought treatment for mental health concerns, for fear of professional consequences. Only 6% had reported a mental health condition to their Medical Licensure Board (MLB). More background can be found in this press release regarding the survey.
Here is a report by a depressed female physician consulting another depressed female physician. It poses the question of why the unwarranted stigma associated with depression makes it harder to receive treatment or peer support.
Self-reported depression and suicide attempts among U.S. women physicians
Frank E, Dingle AD, Am J Psychiatry 1999; 156(12): 1887-1894
Female Physicians Face Higher Suicide Risk, Batchelor S, Women's eNews 1/31/05
Suicide rates among physicians: a quantitative and gender assessment (meta-analysis) Schernhammer and Colidtz, Am J Psychiatry 2004; 161(12):2295-2302
A Look at Physician Suicide: an interview with Eva Schernhammer MD
Physician Suicide personal experience of a physician spouse survivor