UMKC SOM grad’s study on gun suicide wins national award

Dr. Apurva BhattA research study by UMKC School of Medicine graduate Apurva Bhatt, M.D. ’17, shows the number of Missouri residents who use a gun to commit suicide has steadily increased during the past decade. A third-year UMKC psychiatry resident, Bhatt won the 2020 American Psychiatric Association national poster competition with her study of Missouri adolescent and youth suicides with firearms.

The competition is typically part of the APA annual meeting in the spring but took place later this year as a virtual event.

Bhatt and co-authors Chadwick Yip, a UMCK medical student, and Luke Beyer and Kalee Morris, students at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, received the national award for their study that found dramatic increased in the number of gun-related suicides in Missouri, and particularly among those 15-24 years old. The study concluded that changes in Missouri gun laws could be contributing to the increase.

Bhatt is also the lead author of a research paper published Nov. 4 on the Journal of the American Medical Association web site on the study entitled, “Association of Changes in Missouri Firearm Laws With Adolescent and Young Adult Suicides by Firearms.” The article says that changes in Missouri’s permit-to-purchase and concealed carry firearm laws may have contributed to increased rates of firearm suicides in young Missouri residents.