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Dec 09, 2015 10:28 AM EST

1 in 4 doctors may be suffering from depression

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In a recent study, researchers have found that doctors who are doing their internships and residencies may develop depression during the course of their study, I4U reports.

In the study conducted by Dr. Srijan Sen, M.D., Ph.D., senior author of the new study and a member of U-M's Depression Centre, Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, and Molecular and Behavioural Neuroscience Institute and Douglas Mata, M.D., M.P.H., of Harvard University and other authors, analysed a number of studies from the past 50 years.

The study got published in the new issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"The increase in depression is surprising and important, especially in light of reforms that have been implemented over the years with the intent of improving the mental health of residents and the health of patients," said Dr. Srijan Sen, senior author of the study, in a press release.

Sen is also a member of University of Michigan's Depression Center, Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, and Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute.

The study was primarily focused on those doctors who were doing their internship or residency. These years of internship and residency usually include long working hours, rigorous on-the-job learning and high level of responsibility for patient care. 

Among the studies that the researchers considered for the present study, the researchers looked for the signs that indicated symptoms of depression symptoms in more than 17,500 medical residents.

The combined data from 54 studies conducted around the world suggested that 28.8 percent of physicians-in-training have signs of depression.

The results of the study show that medical centers and organization around the world must reconsider their residential programs, so that the persistence of depression among doctors may not adversely affect their medical careers at a later stage.

"Our findings provide a more accurate measure of the prevalence of depression in this group, and we hope that they will focus attention on factors that may negatively affect the mental health of young doctors, with the goal of identifying strategies to prevent and treat depression among graduate medical trainees," said lead author Dr. Douglas Mata, of Harvard University, according to Medical Daily.

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