Official medical surveillance among Finnish physicians who had committed suicide in 1983-1994 was investigated. Definite cases of suicide (ICD categories E950-E959) (n = 50) were compared with a living age- and sex-adjusted control group of physicians (n = 200). All National Board of Health (NBH) documents relating to official surveillance in 1983-1994 were examined. Seven cases of surveillance (three males, four females) were found among suicide cases and only one in controls, the relative odds thus being 28 (95% confidence interval 4.3 to 636). All suicide victims had had several major problems, including mental and somatic disorders and difficulties in their personal relationships. The risk of suicide was especially high among female physicians under surveillance. However, only in one case did disbarment from the medical profession seem to be a crucial factor preceding a suicide.