Don’t doubt depression.

As a fascinating global health initiative brought to light, suicide is currently responsible for almost twice the global mortality as breast cancer. Yes, you read that right. We’ve known since House of God that incredible stress, looming depression and even suicide are pervasive among medical residents. A more recent JAMA meta-analysis including >116K medical students indicates that over 1 in 4 medical students experience depressive symptoms and more than 1 in 10 report suicidal ideation--triple the rates of the general population. What’s perhaps more alarming is that only 15% of those screening positive for depression sought psychiatric help. This last point is worth reflection: the equanimity we all strive for as physicians places us at unique risk for becoming islands of self-doubt when, in reality, chances are you are working in a room full of people who really do get it.


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