According to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 27% of medical students have depression or show depressive symptoms — ONE-THIRD of medical students — and 11% have suicidal tendencies. In addition, medical students are 5 times more likely to experience depression compared to the general population. But guess what? Only 16% of medical students were shown to seek help from a professional when they felt depressed. There’s a big problem here.
Mental health is not taken seriously enough in the medical career. Though the JAMA study was only recently published, this is not ‘new’ news. Medical student’s are “supposed” to be tired. We’re “supposed” to be worn out. But by who’s standards? Anxiety, chronic stress, and depression are well-known inhibitors of learning. So why should they be welcomed into one of the most intensive learning environments that is medical school?
Let’s stand up for ourselves. Let’s open up discussion for “taboo” or difficult mental health topics. And let’s create a culture of self-love, acceptance, and safety. Because medical school is hard, and the only way to keep standing is to lean on one another when we need a break.
P.S. Shout out to my wonderful team of M.I.N.D. committee members. You all have hearts of gold and are filled with crazy cool ideas — I love y’all.