Depression In Internship

Depression: Following up on their work showing that depression is quite common in medical trainees, the authors present a qualitative analysis of comments contrasting the text of answers to open-ended questions of interns who became depressed compared with those who did not.  This analysis is limited by low (42% of the 63% who completed the survey) rate of written comments, but the question is of major importance to medical educators.  Interns who become depressed much more frequently mentioned exhaustion, anxiety, stress, and negative personality change.  Their most memorable experience was more likely to be the preventable death of a patient and they more frequently expressed regret at their decision to become a physician.  By contrast, interns who did not become depressed much more frequently mentioned increases in competence, confidence, and knowledge.  Their most memorable experience was more likely to be receipt of recognition for their work, often from a patient.  The authors cite work by others suggesting that resilience training programs may help prevent or treat depression in these circumstances. — Laura Willett, MD

Mata DA, Ramos MA, Kim MM, Guille C, Sen S. In Their Own Words: An Analysis of the Experiences of Medical Interns Participating in a Prospective Cohort Study of Depression. Acad Med. 2016 May 10.

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