While we have become aware that 1 in 7 medical students have contemplated #suicide and that "we lose at least one medical school worth of MDs per year to suicide", little has been done to address the persistent stigma of mental illness among healthcare professionals, or the culture of medicine that tends to perpetuate burnout and depression.
As this powerful article by Andre Picard emphasizes, it is time to now transcend from increasing awareness to focusing on actually taking action and addressing and preventing mental health issues among our medical students, residents, and physicians, as suicide and mental illness should not be an occupational hazard of the field.
"In short, medical education is too often imbued with a macho attitude that learners have to be broken down and toughened up and that those who can’t take it are weak and unworthy.
Perversely, many physicians take pride in this boot-camp mentality. When efforts were made to eliminate the insane 100-hour workweeks of residents, old-timers quietly (and sometimes not so quietly) dismissed the younger generation as wimps...
In fact, what’s different today is not that young people are weaker, it is that expectations are so much higher and isolation is so much greater, in spite of (or perhaps because of) so-called social media. Medical students and residents are also headed into a world of uncertainty, not one where they are guaranteed a life of privilege."
For the full article, click here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/suicide-should-not-be-an-occupational-hazard-for-doctors/article27444903/