When I was a resident, I came home from a swing shift in May to the smell of gasoline wafting through the entryway of my home. I immediately knew something was wrong and anguish gripped me. I opened the door to the garage and turned on the light to find my fiancé dead on the floor. He had killed himself using the exhaust fumes of his motorcycle.
My fiancé’s death occurred 20 years ago, but little has changed regarding the stigma and silence that surrounds suicide, especially among physicians. We have known since 1977 that, on average, the United States loses the equivalent of a large medical school class each year to suicide.1