4 factors that contribute to depression among first-year physicians  

 

A study published by Academic Medicine pinpoints four factors in residency programs associated with higher levels of depression among internal medicine interns: poor faculty feedback, ineffective learning experiences, long work hours and high institutional research rankings.

"While most of the focus on resident depression has been on the individual resident, in this paper we show that institutions and residency programs play a critical role," Srijan Sen, MD, PhD, senior author of the paper, was quoted saying in a blog published by the Ann Arbor-based University of Michigan. Dr. Sen is the Eisenberg Professor of Depression and Neurosciences at U-M.  

Faculty feedback was the most important component of the four in affecting mental health, according to the blog. Most noteworthy was the effect of research rankings, according to Dr. Sen. This suggests top institutions may need to consider some cultural change, he noted.

The results are based on quarterly surveys from 1,276 internal medicine interns in 54 different programs between 2012 and 2015. Additional information was gathered from the American Medical Association Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database, as well as Doximity. Researchers adjusted for personal factors that may have made some respondents more likely to experience depressive symptoms, such as a history of depression.

 

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