KANSAS CITY, Mo. – When Don Milligan talks about doctor suicides, he talks about a colleague of his, a good doctor who played jazz and zydeco tuba.
“I was a real fan of his,” Milligan said. And then, one day, the tuba-playing doctor was gone.
He committed suicide, as do about 400 physicians each year in the United States, a higher rate than most other professions, according to recent studies. Milligan, a semi-retired doctor who practiced at the University of Kansas Medical Center, spoke about his old friend Saturday at a forum on physician suicides organized by students at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences.
The forum, a “Day of Solidarity” organized online through the Care2 network, was part of a national campaign to stop physician suicides. Medical students, professors and doctors hosted similar talks in 10 other cities.