8 After a Suicide | A Toolkit for Physician Residency/Fellowship Programs Get the Facts First In the event of a possible death of a resident, it is imperative to obtain accurate facts. Obtaining as much information as possible helps alleviate speculation and rumors that can fuel emotional turmoil within a training program. Sometimes the family learns of the suicide first and informs someone at the institution, such as the PD; in other cases, the death of a resident comes to light after the resident does not report for duty or after a phone call from local authorities, Emergency Dept. personnel, or others. Depending on the situation, facts may be obtained or clarified by contacting the coroner, medical examiner’s office, or local law enforcement. The cause of death should not be disseminated without first speaking with the family about their preferences. Full discussion of this can be found in Sharing the News (pgs. 11) and Appendix D (pgs. 32). Missing Resident A resident not showing up for work may be a serious problem or a simple mistake. Now that many residents do not have a land line, or in some situations a pager, we are dependent on a charged cell phone for contact. Residency training programs should have a process in place for how to deal with a resident who does not arrive when expected (see the box below for a suggested strategy). Step-Wise Approach to Finding a Missing Resident • Page, text, and email the resident • Call the resident’s home or cell phone • If there is no response, next options include: — — Calling resident’s emergency contact/family — — Contacting local police or hospital security to request a welfare check