Skip to main content
January 28, 2021

Distress and suicide recognition and response project

Joint statement by the Canadian Medical Protective Association, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and the Physician Health Program of the Ontario Medical Association

We, the Canadian Medical Protective Association, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and the Physician Health Program of the Ontario Medical Association have collaborated to explore opportunities for improving the awareness of physician distress and suicide, both within and across the boundaries of our respective organizations.

Based on limited data, we estimate that at approximately 30 to 40 physicians take their own lives in Canada each year.  This is likely an under-estimate, due to under-reporting and a lack of a centralized system for recording deaths by suicide among physicians.

We are united in our agreement that, irrespective of each organization’s different roles in the life of a physician, we have a shared interest in recognizing a physician in distress or at risk and ensuring seamless connections to timely support. We commit to the collaborative exploration of opportunities to improve the awareness of physician distress and suicide, both within and across the boundaries of our respective organizations.