Some very fascinating journal articles have been written over the past few years clearly documenting the increase risk of clinical depression and suicide attempts by medical residents. When a young person enters medical school he/she has a depression rate similar to the general population. By the time that student becomes a resident, he/she have a much higher rate compared to their peers with one study reporting that 20% of 123 pediatric residents at 3 U.S. children’s hospitals were depressed. These depressed residents made 6.2 times more medication errors than did their non-depressed peers. http://Fahrenkopf AM, Sectish TC, Barger LK, et al. Rates of medication errors among depressed and burnt out residents: prospective cohort study. BMJ. 2008;336:488-491.
The long hours, sleep deprivation, social isolation and the (often self imposed) pressures of having to be perfect all the time are a recipe for disaster. Far too often we are… Continue reading