In this interesting KevinMD.com article "Medical Student Suicide: It's Impact is devastating, this case proves it", medical student Ajay Koti explores the theories and research behind the underlying contributory factors to medical student suicide. Is it the perpetual stress that's to blame, or is it the fact that the field of medicine draws those with personality characteristics and psychological qualities that increase one's vulnerability to emotional and psychiatric dysfunction?
"But the most meaningful change is not institutional. It’s cultural. Even in medical circles, depression remains poorly understood and stigma is rampant. 56 percent of depressed students suspect they would lose the respect of their colleagues if their depression became public; 83 percent of depressed students suspect that faculty would view them as unfit for their responsibilities. One student confided to me that he had stopped attending a depression support group because it was held in a building on campus, and that he didn’t want to risk being recognized by any students or faculty. Changing the culture of medicine to be more supportive and accepting is a slow process, but it is also the part that we can most directly influence. It’s also necessary — how can we hope to care for patients if we don’t take care of our own?"