Documentary Takes a Hard Look at Physician Suicide

Media Resources

Bob Hallinan

Executive Producer

Office: (913) 588-7284

Cell: (913)-481-7329


         Physicians have the highest rate of suicide of any profession, one nearly twice that of the general U.S. population. Every year, around 400 American physicians, enough to fill three large medical-school classrooms, commit suicide.

This mental health epidemic among physicians is the subject of Do No Harm: Exposing the Hippocratic Hoax, a new documentary recently shown at the University of Kansas Medical Center. The event was hosted jointly by the KU Medical Center and the University of Kansas Health System, who contacted the film’s producer about bringing the film to the Kansas City campus to encourage a dialogue about physician mental health and wellness.

The documentary focuses mostly on physician training largely because the stress of being a physician starts the first day of medical school. Through personal stories from physicians and students as well as interviews with medical faculty and administrators, the film takes a hard look at a stressful, often unforgiving culture that leads some doctors to become depressed or take their lives.

          In this video, Robyn Symon explains what led her to making Do No Harm and what she learned as a result, and John and Michele Dietl (pronounced “Deal”), parents featured in the documentary who lost their son to suicide to suicide just three months before graduating from medical school, share about their family’s experience and what they hope to see happen as a result of people seeing the film.