Out Of Sight, But Not Out Of Mind

Depression: Willingness among medical trainees to seek help for a mental health issue gets a boost when faculty members share their own struggles.  At least that is the finding from a limited study of 39 residents who attended a closed conference on the subject given by three self-selected faculty at Mayo Clinic Rochester.  On an anonymous survey given to residents who attended the event, 89.7% stated their knowledge of available mental health resources increased, 84.7% said they were more likely to pursue mental health resources, and 97.4% replied that faculty sharing their challenges de-stigmatizes mental health.  These are impressive stats, but a post-conference afterglow effect might be at play here.  The authors acknowledge as much by emphasizing the need to study whether residents retain their enthusiasm over time, and more importantly, they seek that help they need.  Despite its limitations, this study opens a window on depression among residents which remains too often out of sight, but not out of mind. — The Editorial Team

Brianna E Vaa Stelling, Colin P West, Faculty Disclosure of Personal Mental Health History and Resident Physician Perceptions of Stigma Surrounding Mental Illness, Academic Medicine January 2021. 

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