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By On September 16th, 2010

Medical students perceive stigma surrounding depression

Depression rates among medical school students are higher than in general populations and the prevalence of stigma associated with depression is perhaps a barrier to the utilization of mental health services among this group. A study reported in the September 15th issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association reveals that medical students believe in, and are afraid of, stigma associated with depression; stigma that they feel reveals inadequacy. Thomas L. Schwenk, MD, and colleagues from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, found that students with moderate-to-severe depression are more likely than those without depression or those with minimal depression to see consulting with a counselor about depression as “risky” (53.3% versus 16.7%, 95% CI for difference 23.2 to 50.1, P<0.001). Many more depressed students believe that seeking help for depression would be an indication of inability to handle the responsibilities of medical school (83.1% versus 55.1%, 95% CI for difference 16.1 to 39.8, P<0.001). Click here to read an article from Medpage Today that discusses this study more.

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