Michael F. Myers, MD

Shock is a universal response to someone’s suicide – but it is even more alarming when that person is a physician, someone deemed by society to be a protector and defender of life. In this informative book, psychiatrist Dr Michael Myers melds his vast clinical experience as a specialist in physician health with the intimate stories of family members (and colleagues and friends) of doctors who have taken their own lives. The result is a compassionate unfolding of a complex and often misunderstood tragedy – but most important, a call to arms.

In this book, Myers and Gabbard consider such issues as the uniqueness of the physician's psychological makeup that facilitates or impedes diagnosis and treatment, describe the most common medical and psychiatric illnesses in physicians (including addictions), and address such topics as personality disorders and the increasingly important subject of boundary violations.


The author's suggestions and insights will help the busy, committed medical student and his or her partner increase their ability to confront and resolve misunderstandings.


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Selected Works

Non-Fiction
Nonfiction
Written with Glen O Gabbard, MD, this practial handbook discusses not only common illnesses and problems seen in doctors but also the many biopsychosocial treatments that are indicated.
Written with Carla Fine, author of the best-selling No Time to Say Goodbye: Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One (Broadway Books/ Doubleday 1999).
Intimate Relationships in Medical School is for anyone studying the medical sciences who is married or in a committed relationship.
"Easy to read and full of illuminating insights, How’s Your Marriage is the most helpful home repair kit imaginable.”
--Maggie Scarf, author of Unfinished Business: Pressure Points in the Lives of Women, Intimate Partners: Patterns in Love and Marriage, and Intimate Worlds: Life Inside the Family
A unique book written by a psychiatrist clinician about the intimate relationships of physicians.

Works

Why Physicians Die By Suicide: Lessons Learned From Their Families and Others Who Cared
“I, who have never stopped looking for answers to the “why” of Harry’s suicide even after more than 25 years since his death, raced through these pages with nods of recognition and pauses of gratitude for my deeper knowledge of the unique circumstances that influence the suicide of a physician, including that of my husband.”
-Carla Fine. From the Forward. Author of “No Time to Say Goodbye: Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One”


“This is a signature book for physicians, their families, those who train them and those who treat them. In tackling one of the biggest medical challenges of our time – physician depression and suicide, Dr. Myers has combined his lifelong clinical experience as a “doctors’ doctor” with gripping anecdotes of families who have lost a physician loved one to suicide.”
-Carol A Bernstein, MD. Associate Professor of Psychiatry. Vice Chair for Education and Director of Residency Training. New York University School of Medicine. Past President, American Psychiatric Association


“While public attitudes are opening up to the importance of a proactive approach to mental health, physicians continue to take their lives at a rate higher than the general population. With hard earned compassion and insight, Dr. Myers guides the reader through the many aspects that contribute to physician suicide.”
-Christine Moutier, MD. Chief Medical Officer. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

"Why Physicians Die by Suicide: Lessons Learned From Their Families and Others Who Cared" is powerful and engaging with excellent preventative measures for physicians, significant others and the community. It was great to have additional resources listed.
Tejas V. Patel, MD
Director, Internal Medicine Residency Program
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai St. Luke's - Mount Sinai West
New York, NY

As a resident physician who survived a serious, near-lethal suicide attempt, many of the passages in Dr. Michael Myers book resonated with me and my experience. He skillfully extracts insights from physicians, physician-patients and their family members about physician suicide and depression through the interviewing process. Their stories provide hope for a better path. Reading this book might make a difference to medical students, residents and physicians who are challenged by mental health concerns as well as their teachers and therapists.
Dr K


The Physician as Patient: A Clinical Handbook for Mental Health Professionals (American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc., Washington, DC, 2008)
"Physicians are not immune from physical and mental illness, often resist getting help for their problems, and die by suicide more frequently than others. In this much-needed and readable book, Drs. Myers and Gabbard use poignant case examples to highlight practical and successful prevention, diagnostic, and treatment strategies for this special population that every mental health professional can use". John A Fromson, MD, Harvard Medical School

Touched By Suicide: Hope and Healing After Loss
Gotham Books/Penguin, September 2006
"Touched By Suicide makes a unique contribution to the books available on surviving after a suicide by combining the perspectives of Myers, a mental health professional, and Carla Fine, a survivor of the suicide of a close family member. The book demonstrates the power of a partnership between scientific knowledge and the wisdom of lived experience. The authors' compassion and concrete advice provide a sturdy handrail for people trying to help families climbing out of the abyss following their loved one's suicide, particularly, in the later stages of grief". Paul S Links, MD, Arthur Sommer Rotenburg Chair in Suicide Studies, University of Toronto, Canada.

Intimate Relationships in Medical School: How to Make Them Work (Sage Publications, Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA 2000)
"This book represents the best in primary(i.e. avoiding potential relationship problems) and secondary (i.e. fixing problems before they become deeply entrenched) prevention. I guarantee that you'll learn a lot and will take an important step toward ensuring your present and future well-being". Robert Holman Coombs. Professor of Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA

How’s Your Marriage:
A Book for Men and Women

"In this age of information overload here is a book that speaks equally to men and women, and to them as couples. Truly a 'guide', the readers will feel that they are in close communication with a friendly and very experienced professional who talks to them in a clear, caring and gentle way about their intimacy, their frustrations, their disappointments and their hopes. From issues of communication to sexuality, from fears of separation and divorce, to despair of ever finding intimacy and love, from concerns about children and worry over drug abuse and mental illness, Dr. Myers shares his wide clinical and professional experience, and his warmth and concern as a person to provide a rich trove of experience and advice which will be welcomed by those many who increasingly despair of finding resolution with their partners, and renewed hope for a fuller life.”
--Ian Alger, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, The New York Hospital--Cornell University Medical Center, Fellow, American Marriage and Family Therapy Association, New York, New York

Doctors’ Marriages:
A Look at the Problems and Their Solutions

Second Edition
"For doctors, medical students, and their spouses/partners, and for therapists sweeping up the rubble, Myers (psychiatry, U. of British Columbia) draws on his own clinical experience to suggest a biopsychosocial perspective to understanding the stresses on doctors' relationships. He includes many vignettes illustrating common situations, and surveys the various approaches to treatment. The new edition includes insights from further cases since 1988."
--Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)