A recent study has shown that over a quarter of medical students report, on a yearly basis, symptom of depression and in every 10 students, one gets suicidal thoughts. This is a study that was posted in the Journal of the American Medical Association. 47 countries were involved in the study that analyzed about 200 previous studies of 129,000 students.
According to Dr. Douglas Mata, co-principle author and a clinical fellow at Harvard Medical School, depression is something that is no secret.
Sen, a depression professor and neuroscientist at the niversity of Michigan , said that when he was still a medical student, he came across many friends who suffered from depression and experienced serious suicide attempts. One of them completed suicide.
Not an Isolated problem
Sen, Mata and their colleagues analyzed previously published researches on depression in the medical field. All the studies done depended on situations where the students themselves reported the symptoms.
“There were several hundred individual studies of smaller groups of students that were out there, but each on its own is not that impactful,” said Mata. “I thought by combining everything and saying, ‘listen, this is a study with over 120,000 people in it; this is something we’re seeing around the world,’ it kind of underscores how serious this is.”
Mata drew motivation from the need to offer the policy makers with data that would solve problems facing the future doctors.
Escalating rates of depression
Generally, the study was able to find that about 26.7% of the participants had depression. This represented 37,933 of the 122,356 participants.
Different regions showed variations with some areas recording about two to five times likelihood of the medical school students experiencing depression.
On the contrast, only a small percentage of these students get to see a doctor: only 15.7%.