Thursday, January 4, 2018

Anesthesia Resident Commits Suicide

It's so sad when you read about events like this. Wayne Hendrix, MD, an anesthesiology resident at the Medical College of Wisconsin committed suicide the last week of 2017. The 43 year old doctor charged into Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee brandishing a gun. He then hid himself in one of the operating rooms and gave himself a lethal injection of fentanyl. When the SWAT team entered the room, they found him already down.

Dr. Hendrix had previously been diagnosed with depression. He was divorced with two small children who resided with the ex wife. Reports say he had also just broken up with a girlfriend. His family said he also had an alcohol addiction and attempted suicide in 2016. This was a troubled soul who was unable to overcome all his demons.

To most of us it's unfathomable why somebody so young and full of potential would end their lives at such a tender age. They seemingly have their whole lives ahead of them and the possibilities are endless. Yet either because of mental illness, substance abuse, or myriad other reasons, they just couldn't make it past one more day.

Anesthesiologists have long had a reputation for being the group of physicians most likely to suffer from drug addiction. Male anesthesiologist may have the highest suicide risks among all doctors. Dr. Hendrix had previously been diagnosed with depression with a difficult personal life. I hope anybody reading this will recognize the cries for help either within themselves or in their acquaintances and seek the medical attention they need before they become another terrible statistic.

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