Saturday, December 24, 2011

The psychological price of a medical education

It’s been clear for several years now that while aspiring doctors may start medical school as happy and as healthy as their non-doctoring peers, four years later they aren’t.

More than 20 percent end up with depression, more than half suffer from burnout, and in any given year, as many as 11 percent contemplate suicide.
--Pauline Chen, NYT, on post-MCAT risks


The rate of suicidal ideation among medical students in our study (11.2%) is
higher than for individuals of similar age in the general U.S. population (6.9% among 25- to 34-year-olds).
--Liselotte Dyrbye et al., "Burnout and Suicidal Ideation among U.S. Medical Students," Annals of Internal Medicine, on one benchmark group