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The NBOME Partners with Vital Signs to Take Action in Preventing Physician Suicide

September 15, 2023

The NBOME is partnering with more than 115 patient care and health education organizations—including the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, the American Medical Association, and the Coalition for Physician Wellbeing—to recognize September 17 as National Physician Suicide Awareness (NPSA) Day.

Held annually, the mission of NPSA Day is to break down the culture of silence around physician mental health. More specifically, it aims to shift the healthcare system from one in which physicians think burnout, depression, or suicidal thoughts are something they must overcome by themselves, to one where they seek a support system.

By destigmatizing those who engage with their mental health struggles, we combat the increasing numbers of 300-400 doctors lost to suicide annually. Many times, these struggles can begin or are exacerbated during medical school.

As an organization whose mission is to protect the public through competency assessment, the NBOME is committed to prioritizing the well-being of its stakeholders. We believe that physicians who are healthy in body, mind, and spirit will ultimately provide better patient care.

For its part, the NBOME offers osteopathic students, residents, and physicians numerous resources to help manage their mental health, and to reach out for help if need be:

The NBOME Mental Health and Wellness Toolbox

A group of resources for osteopathic medical professionals at all levels gathered from across the osteopathic profession and the healthcare field at large, including those from the American Osteopathic Association and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine.

Candidate Wellness blogs

This series explores the ways that osteopathic medical students and residents manage their own mental health, with tips, tricks, and advice from those who have experienced the Road to DO Licensure firsthand.

The Candidate Assistance Program

There may come a time when an osteopathic medical student or resident may encounter weather or other emergency circumstances that lead to additional expenses in taking NBOME examinations. For circumstances that may arise that are outside of a candidate’s control, the NBOME offers the Candidate Assistance Program to help ease some of the financial stress related to these types of incidents.

“By participating in events such as NPSA Day, we underscore our commitment to well-being for osteopathic medical students, residents, and DOs, and indeed all physicians in our health care system,” said John R. Gimpel, DO, MED, president & CEO of the NBOME. “Standing up for wellness and support in body, mind, and spirit for these caregivers along their journey is essential for their health and for the patients we all have the privilege to serve.”

NPSA Day was launched by Vital Signs, a campaign of the Physicians Foundation to raise greater awareness about the physician suicide epidemic and to provide physicians the tools to attend to their own well-being. To learn more, visit NPSADay.org.

About the NBOME:
The NBOME is an independent, non-governmental, nonprofit assessment organization committed to protecting the public by providing the means to assess competencies for osteopathic medicine and related health care professions. NBOME’s COMLEX-USA examination series is a requirement for graduation from colleges of osteopathic medicine and provides the pathway to licensure for osteopathic physicians in the United States and numerous international jurisdictions.

Renee Cree, MA
Director for Communications

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