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Medical students: tired, bored, and depressed?

On the heels of the NYT article I linked to yesterday comes this article in the New England Journal of Medicine:

White Coat, Mood Indigo — Depression in Medical School
...
Medical students are more prone to depression than their nonmedical peers. Researchers recently surveyed first- and second-year medical students at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and found that about one fourth were depressed. Others have suggested that although the rate of depression among students entering medical school is similar to that among other people of similar ages, the prevalence increases disproportionately over the course of medical school.
...
Students may become depressed at any point in medical school, but Gartrell has found that the period of greatest distress occurs during the third and fourth years, when students rotate through the hospitals and clinics. "In the clinical years, there's just far greater commitment of time, plus as match pressure begins to emerge, it's an extremely stressful time for a lot of people," she said. Students are often separated from friends and classmates and must work with a constantly changing set of residents and attending physicians, which contributes to their sense of isolation. Gartrell said that many of the female students she sees are worried that the mounting demands of training and clinical practice will not allow them time to find a partner, marry, and have children. Haynes noted that the increase in sleep deprivation during rotations may also expose mood disorders.

Again, I'll have to defer comments 'til later. Gotta run to Crim Pro now.

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