A while back, we published a ranking of the careers in which folks are most likely to kill themselves.We based the post on the work of Wayne State’s Steven Stack.
Stack concluded that dentists are 5-times as likely to kill themselves as average people (thus topping our list of suicidal careers).
This seemed to make sense–to non-dentists, anyway.
Well, today we heard from a dentist, Dr. Dennis Flanagan of Willimantic, CT, who says this conclusion is bogus:
Again this misinformation about dentists having a high suicide rate has appeared and you are propagating this misinformation. This is based on a sociological study from many years ago where study was performed on three counties in Washington state. There were about 35 dentists residing there at the time and by pure happenstance two decided to kill themselves. This skewed their data and they noted this problem so that it would not be used. The media, of course, picked this up and brandished it about as valid. I have contacted an actuary and he confirms that dentists do not have an inordinately high suicide rate. I have been practicing dentistry for 40 years and I have never seen or heard of a dentist suicide. Please stop this misinforming of the public and the dental profession. Please print a retraction/correction.
Dennis Flanagan DDS
Willimantic, Conn. 06226
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