Study: Medical school can lead to burnout, suicidal thoughts

Everyone knowns that medical school can be a bruising ordeal, one that depletes students of time, energy, money and morale--and that in some cases, the stress is just too much to handle. Increasingly, however, it's becoming clear that not only does med school lead to burnout, it can lead to worse problems, too.

In fact, a recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that 50 percent of about 2,200 students surveyed at seven medical schools reported burnout, while 11 percent said they'd considered suicide within the past year. That's true despite the fact that medical students begin their studies with mental health profiles similar to their non-medical peers, researchers say.

While medical schools are required to offer counseling, many of the students at highest risk are prone to rejecting such help. To make help more accessible, some schools are offering peer support programs and other alternatives. Still, it seems there's a long way to go in helping high achievers cope with some of the most challenging experiences of their lives.

To learn more about this issue:
- read this AMNews piece

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