Background: Working in clinical practice involves exposure to many hazards, resulting in ongoing concerns regarding mortality in doctors when compared with the general public.
Aims: To evaluate the survival data of all Taiwanese doctors and to ascertain whether doctors experience premature mortality.
Methods: Death and census data from 1990 to 2006 were obtained for all practising doctors in Taiwan. Cause-specific standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated via the Life Table Analysis System using the general population of Taiwan as the reference.
Results: All the SMRs of different medical specialties were below 0.34. Doctors in Taiwan were found to be less likely to die from all causes, including suicide and drug abuse. The SMRs for suicide and drug abuse were generally below 0.50 [SMR = 0.14, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.09-0.21 and SMR = 0.16, 95% CI 0.07-0.32, respectively].
Conclusions: The risks of all-cause and cause-specific mortality of doctors were found to be lower than those of the general population in Taiwan.