Depression in Medical School

Are medical students more prone to depression? Is the stress of medical school too burdensome? Why do medical students get depressed?

Over the years, I've spoken with a number of medical students who suffered from depression. When my wife and I were in medical school, we were both under tremendous stress. Plus, we were sleep deprived. Now, add the fact that we were treating dying patients, very sick individuals, and grieving family members. Does that seem like a recipe for depression?

Medical school can be a very difficult experience, both mentally and emotionally. When I was in medical school, I remember dealing with my first patient who died in the hospital. I also remember performing CPR on a dying patient. I had to remove myself from my emotions so that I could focus on performing chest compressions on a patient who no longer had a pulse. 

The majority of US medical schools offer robust mental health services for medical students, but a number of them do not. Therefore, students who recognize signs of depression in themselves or in others should not hesitate to seek professional help. Depression can be a disability.  Make sure to seek help if you think you're depressed.