"I Solemnly Share": Depression in Medical School and Beyond

JAMA recently published a piece written by one brave medical student sharing her story dealing with depression. This may be a stigmatized topic in the field of medicine, but many groups and individuals are working to change that, including our own Wellness Initiative as well as a group of inspiring physicians from Michigan Medicine. 

Read the JAMA piece here and check out the Michigan Medicine video below:

 

AMA: Access to Confidential Health Services for Medical Students and Physicians

The Wellness Initiative is happy to report that the AMA has passed a policy encouraging medical schools and residency/fellowship programs to provide access to low-cost, confidential health care, including mental health and substance abuse care, to medical students and physicians. This is a huge step for wellness in the medical community, and was advocated for by our Initiative as well as the Massachusetts Medical Society. Read more about this new policy here.

This Med Student Proves Nature Is the Best Medicine

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"Meet Natalie Wall, a woman with an impressive set of passions. She is a medical student at the University of Utah, a competitive rock climber, and a sought-after Instagram photographer. If you feel tired just reading that list of responsibilities, you might want to borrow Natalie's secret for embracing challenges: spending time in nature. Waking up before dawn each day to experience the surreal Utah landscape gives Natalie the time she needs to practice mindfulness and create her own path to success."

Read more about Natalie (and see some of her work) in this interactive Popsugar article here

STAT First Opinion

Robert Lechler, MD, president of the Academy of Medical Sciences in the U.K., discusses a new campaign, #MedSciLife, to humanize medical scientists and encourage researchers to prioritize home life and side interests as part of a holistic approach to balancing career and life. Same goes for early career scientists and trainees.

STAT article

NEJM Perspective: Kathryn

Dr. David Muller, the dean for medical education at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, shares his experience with losing a fourth-year medical student to suicide in August 2016 and how the ISMMS community responded. Dr. Muller believes a root cause of trainee burnout, depression, and suicide is "a culture of performance and achievement that for most of our students begins in middle school and relentlessly intensifies for the remainder of their adult lives." This editorial is very important reading.

NEJM article

JAMA Viewpoint: Addressing Physician Burnout

In this JAMA Viewpoint (2/7/17), physician-researchers from Mayo Clinic review the research about burnout among physicians and medical trainees and provide a list of recommended reforms to address the problem. 

The suggested reforms include: reduction and streamlining of documentation, improvement of workflow with minimization in clerical tasks, implementation of new practice models to increase clinic efficiency, recognition of overwork and commitment to increased work time flexibility for physicians, elimination of questions about personal diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions on state medical license applications, increased funding for research on physician wellbeing, programs to enhance self-awareness and self-reflection for medical personnel, and prioritization of burnout prevention by medical leaders. 

Original JAMA article here.