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Other studies have suggested that the prevalence of depression in medical students may be as much as five times higher than among age-matched controls, and anxiety disorders are as much as eight times more common. Many do not seek professional help for fear the stigma of mental illness will undermine their careers.

And depression doesn’t stop in medical school. The lifetime rate of depression among U.S. physicians is approximately 13 percent among men and 20 percent among women.

As a physician and educator at a large academic medical center who interacts daily with medical students and patients, I can offer some insights into this study. It raises important questions about both medical education and the way medicine is practiced today, particularly the many non-patient-care-related demands on a physician’s attention.

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Image: By Sander van der Wel from Netherlands – Depressed, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28145941

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