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Papers Aim to Help Trainees Cope With Patient Suicide

March 18, 2021

Zheala Qayyum, MD, Assistant Professor Adjunct of Psychiatry, is first author of two papers intended to help trainees cope with the painful experience of having a patient die by suicide.

“’You Really Never Forget It!’ Psychiatry Trainee Supervision Needs and Supervisor Experiences Following the Suicide of a Patient” was published in Academic Psychiatry. According to the paper’s abstract, “Suicide is the second leading cause of death in children, adolescents and young adults ages 10-34 and the rates continue to rise in the USA. An estimated 30-60 percent of Psychiatry Residents experience patient suicide during their training. This study aimed to understand trainee and supervisor experiences after the suicide of a patient in order to better inform the supervision and response to such an event.”

“Recommendations for Effectively Supporting Psychiatry Trainees Following a Patient Suicide” was also published in Academic Psychiatry. According to the authors, “Suicide of a patient affects 31-61 percent of psychiatry residents during training. Psychiatry trainees have greater negative impact than practicing psychiatrists. Timely oversight and support from supervisors is identified as an important and safe place to explore and process the difficult experience of patient loss due to suicide, in the clinical setting or outside it.”

Submitted by Christopher Gardner on March 18, 2021