Research has indicated that medical students tend to be more depressed than their peers not in medical training, which is a cause for concern. For example, a decline in mental health could have adverse effects on students’ levels of empathy, cognitive functioning, professionalism, burnout and happiness.
The medical student often becomes conditioned to believe that she or he can do it alone! They can succeed and struggle alone. This is not a healthy message to internalize, especially when the stressors of medical school are known to be extraordinary. The shift from undergraduate education ways of proceeding, even in the sciences, are vastly different in medical school. Many students are able to adapt to the transition and do well. However, there are significant numbers of medical students suffering with mood disorders, substance use, testing anxiety, attention deficit, etc.
Recommendation for distress
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has shown to be useful in helping medical students develop skills necessary to assess personal well-being and maintain solid health habits throughout their lives. By maintaining their own health via self-care methods, medical students will hopefully be able to provide better care to their patients.
If you know of a medical student in distress, please reach out today and contact us at Caduceus Academy. Our website is: www.thecaduceusacademy.com
Dyrbye, Liselotte N. and Shanafelt, Tait D. (2011). Commentary: Medical Student Distress: A Call to Action. Academic Medicine, 86, 801-803.