Veterinary surgeons and suicide: influences, opportunities and research directions

Vet Rec. 2008 Jan 12;162(2):36-40. doi: 10.1136/vr.162.2.36.


Veterinary surgeons are at high risk of suicide, with a proportional mortality ratio approximately four times that of the general population and around twice that of other health care professions. It is uncertain whether this derives from the characteristics of individuals entering the profession, the nature of the work environment, or other factors known to influence suicide. In this article, David Bartram and David Baldwin present a hypothetical model to explain suicide risk in veterinary surgeons, and argue that research is required to validate the model and to inform the development of appropriate interventions.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Death*
  • Burnout, Professional
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Suicide / prevention & control*
  • Suicide / psychology*
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data
  • Veterinarians / psychology*