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Saturday, March 31, 2012
Overworked Doctor Commits Suicide at Tripler
By Selected News Articles @ 1:57 PM :: 20811 Views :: Maui County, Education K-12, Energy, Environment, National News, Ethics

Widow says Army stress, apathy led to husband's suicide

by Stephanie Bergman, Gloucester Daily Times March 30, 2012 (excerpt)

ROCKPORT, Mass. - Army Capt. Michael McCaddon, M.D., died on duty nine days ago.

He wasn't shot, he wasn't blown up, and he wasn't a victim of the other horrible ways soldiers die in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

McCaddon, 37, killed himself on March 21 at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he delivered babies and cared for women brought to the hospital.

His widow, Leslie McCaddon, 36, says her husband fell victim to the heavy stress the military inflicts on all soldiers -- no matter their mission -- and a tough-guy military culture that discourages them from seeking assistance for mental health issues….

…McCaddon was accepted to the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., and graduated with a medical degree in 2010. He was accepted as a resident doctor that year at Tripler, and the family moved to Hawaii to start another chapter of their life.

"He was the favorite resident, and people were not shy about telling me that," said Mrs. McCaddon.

Yet, she added, her husband's depression got "worse and worse" in Hawaii. She said he would get therapy from time to time but didn't make it a priority because he did not want to leave his medical colleagues at the hospital short-handed.

"He didn't eat (on shift), he didn't pee, he wasn't going to say 'I need to take an hour off to go to therapy,'" said Mrs. McCaddon.

On March 15, she said, McCaddon called his children in Massachusetts. They were all home sick, as was Leslie, and he told each he loved them. He sent Leslie an email saying he was going to take his life and begging her not to tell the children how he died.

When she read the suicide note, she immediately called the hospital. It took the staff 10 minutes to find McCaddon, and 15 more to bring back a heartbeat.

He was brain-dead, however, and Mrs. McCaddon flew to Hawaii to authorize the hospital to take him off of life support….

read … Suicide at Tripler

Response: Tripler Suicide: Army Less Stressful than Bad Marriage

HFP: Post-HMC Desperation: Tripler to bolster state's trauma network

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