Meeting Archive:
The human side of physician suicide: Stories from colleagues, families and friends

Meeting Description:

With concern about physician burnout and stress growing, the American Medical Association is addressing the issue of physician suicide through a series of three webinars.

In our Sept. 7 webinar, we looked at the data on physician suicide and considered the scope of the problem. Our Oct. 5 webinar examined some of the stressors in medical education that may contribute to a risk for suicide among medical students and resident physicians. 
On Nov. 16, please join us to hear from friends, family and colleagues of physicians who have died by suicide. Michael F. Myers, MD, professor of Clinical Psychiatry at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, will lead this session, which will feature the stories of Dan Bree, Carla Fine, and Jennifer Middleton, MD.
At the end of this activity, physicians should be able to:
  • Recognize the profound psychological impact that a physician’s suicide has on his or her family, medical colleagues and patients
  • Implement a plan of outreach to these bereaved individuals (who are called ‘survivors’) to protect their well-being
  • Work collaboratively with survivors to study and prevent suicide in medical students and physicians

Questions? Contact Fred Donini-Lenhoff at or call (312) 464-4635.

Copyright 1995-2011 American Medical Association All rights reserved.
Date: Wed, Nov 16, 2011
Time: 01:00 PM EST
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Host(s): Sonja Boone MD
 Presenter Information
Carla Fine
Speaker Photo

Carla Fine is the author of the international best-seller, No Time To Say Goodbye: Surviving The Suicide Of A Loved One (Broadway Books/Doubleday 1999), now in its 13th printing.
No Time to Say Goodbye is a personal story--Ms. Fine's husband, a prominent New York physician, killed himself in 1989 at the age of 43. The book describes the different stages of grieving after the suicide of a loved one and helps survivors cope with their confusion and grief.
Ms. Fine is also the author of Touched By Suicide: Hope And Healing After Loss (Gotham Books/Penguin 2006), cowritten with Dr. Michael Myers, and she is the author or coauthor of seven other books and numerous articles. She lectures extensively worldwide and offers workshops on writing as a path to healing when coping with the death of a loved one.
Ms. Fine received her Masters of Science degree with honors from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She lives in New York City; her website is

Dan Bree
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Dan Bree is a TV producer and writer living in New York. He produces shows for the National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, the History Channel, and Animal Planet.
Just one year ago, he lost his father, Dr. Robert Bree, to suicide. His father was a 66-year-old radiologist and professor at the University of Washington (Seattle) with a successful career in both hospitals and academic research institutions. Early in his career, Dr. Bree was one of the key physicians who developed methodologies that brought ultrasound into mainstream medical use. Yet Dr. Bree suffered from lifelong depression, and took his own life just three days before his 44th anniversary to his wife, Jacki. His story is a warning that success and strong family support aren't enough to prevent suicide. In the aftermath, his family is working with the University of Washington School of Medicine to develop a physician wellness program that they hope will serve as a national model.

Jennifer Middleton, MD
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Jennifer L. Middleton, MD, MPH, FAAFP, received her medical degree from The Ohio State University College of Medicine and did her residency training at the UPMC St. Margaret Family Medicine Residency Program in Pittsburgh. She completed a faculty development fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh and was a faculty member at the UPMC St. Margaret Family Medicine Residency Program from 2008 through 2011. She has just assumed a new position as an Associate Director for the Toledo (Ohio) Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program.

Dr. Middleton’s research interests include incorporating health behavior theories into patient education and medical technology’s effect on the doctor-patient relationship. She also enjoys writing and editing medical literature. Dr. Middleton has been active in the Family Medicine social media community since 2010, blogging as "The Singing Pen of Doctor Jen" and active on Twitter as @SingingPenDrJen.

Michael F. Myers, MD
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Dr. Myers is Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Vice-Chair of Education, and Director of Training in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at SUNY-Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY. Until June 2008, he was the Director of the Marital Therapy Clinic at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, Canada and Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine. He graduated in medicine from the University of Western Ontario in 1966 and did residencies at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, Wayne State University (Detroit General Hospital), and the University of British Columbia. He is board certified in Psychiatry by both the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada and the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology. Dr. Myers is the author of numerous publications on marital therapy, divorce, sexual assault, AIDS, psychiatric illness, gender issues, and suicide.


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