Dec 12, 2016 10:02 PM EST
Medical School: The Number Cause of Depression Among Medical Students [VIDEO]
A growing number of students are suffering from depression and research say that the number one cause of stress is medical school. The results of this study were published in JAMA.
According to the systematic review and meta-analysis published in the JAMA Network, 27 percent of medical students experience depression or depressive symptom. This number is higher than the general population. Aside from this, 11 percent of medical students have thought about committing suicide.
If you think the figure is high, you'll be surprised that it is not the first time such meta-analysis has been done. Another research was made in 2015 showing 29 percent of medical residents are suffering from depression.
One might think that after medical school and their residency, things will get better for these medical professionals but it seems like depression got even worse. According to studies conducted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, doctors have a higher suicide rate than the general public. Among the male population, male physicians are 1.41 times more likely to commit suicide than others, while female doctors are 2.27 times more likely to commit suicide than other females in the general population.
What's more surprising is that researchers can't specifically pinpoint the real cause why physicians suffer more with mental health problems. They point out that the two most possible causes are the lack of sleep and extreme stress due to rigor of medical school and residency.
Douglas Mata, the researcher behind these reviews said that medical school entails a lot of sacrifices. Add to that the pressure of residencies where they often find themselves going into rounds and into situations that sometimes they have no clue of. These leaves little room for self-care or even socialization.
Then, there's also the ups and downs of having someone's life in their hands plus the expectation people and peers have of them. Such expectations are sometimes impossible leading to stress that could graduate into a mental health problem.
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