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Official Warns About Rising Suicide Rates Among Iranian Doctors

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An advisor for the Medical Council of Iran, has highlighted the dire working conditions of doctors as a factor contributing to the rising suicide rates among the profession.

Mohammad Mirkhani noted the shifting dynamics within the medical field, which was once considered a prestigious profession. “The medical profession has seen an increase in financial difficulties, making doctors more vulnerable emotionally and within their family lives due to demanding work conditions,” he said.

He described the hospital environment as “military-like,” particularly harsh for medical residents who sometimes endure up to 72 hours without sleep, leading to severe depression.

The recent suicide of Samira Al-e-Saeedi, an associate professor of rheumatology at Tehran University of Medical Sciences, has reignited concerns about mental health security among healthcare workers.

Her colleague Mohammad Abdous expressed his concerns on social media, pointing out the immense work-related stress doctors face compared to other professions. Al-e-Saeedi had reportedly disclosed her suicidal intentions to her peers, who failed to take her seriously.

Nima Shahriarpour, an emergency medicine specialist, also revealed that research indicates a 3.1 to fivefold increase in suicide rates among the medical community.

“Among 14,000 medical assistants nationwide, an average of 13 commit suicide annually,” Shahriarpour added.

The Iranian Legal Medicine Organization, which operates as part of the judiciary, refuses to reveal the exact cause of the suspicious deaths of young doctors.

Suicide rates among medical students have also escalated to alarming levels. In February, the head of the Iranian Psychiatric Scientific Association reported that 16 medical residents had taken their lives over the past year, emphasizing the mental health challenges faced by those in the medical field.