Latest Study Proves Better Work Condition Brings Better Mental Health to Resident Doctors!

Latest Study Proves Better Work Condition Brings Better Mental Health to Resident Doctors!

Young doctors’ mental health may be less affected by medical training now than it used to be, but depression is still on the rise, a new study found.

Medical residency, which is a type of training for new doctors, has a reputation for being stressful, demanding, and underpaid.

Researchers have also found that residents suffer from high depression.

There is some good news now from the recent study stating that Residency does not drain ell-being as much as it did 15 years ago.

Researchers do note, however, that there is more work to be done here.

In the study, participants included more than 17,000 U.S. interns (first-year residents) admitted between 2007 and 2019.

During their first year of internship, interns in 2019 showed an increase in depression symptoms, whereas interns in 2007 showed a one-quarter reduced rate of depression symptoms.

This is despite the fact that depression among young adults has increased during that period in the United States as a whole, said scientist Dr. Srijan Sen.

“Our findings suggest there has been some real improvement,” said Sen, a professor at the University of Michigan Medical School.

It is possible that the improvement in patient outcomes can be attributed to changes in “medical culture.”

The interns in 2019 tended to work a little less, get a little more sleep, and give more ratings to their interactions with senior physicians in comparison to the interns in 2007.

There was one significant change, though more interns sought mental health care. 38% were seeking help for depression in 2019 versus 14% in 2007.

The finding was striking, said Sen, and suggests that interns have easier access to mental health care as well as a willingness to seek care.

Mental health conditions remain stigmatized, Sen said, even in medicine.

There may also be a fear of admitting needing help when people are under so much pressure to perform and are under scrutiny by superiors.

“There may be less stigma about seeking care now, which is great to see,” Sen said.

However, he said that more can be done.

In particular, the study found that some groups, particular, showed reduced signs of depression.

For instance, surgery interns showed a smaller decline than those not in a surgical program.

Working hours might be one factor, Sen speculated as a causal factor to the latter.

The average workweek for non-surgical interns has decreased over the years from 68 to 59 hours.

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Workweeks for surgical interns have dropped from 74 to 72 hours, a much smaller change.

Interns participating in non-surgical internships showed a small improvement in sleep.

Despite this, interns in 2019 slept six to six and a half hours per day on average.

The study was published with an editorial by Dr. Jessica Gold in the Annals of Internal Medicine on Nov. 16.

The availability of mental health services varies among medical centers, but many have set up programs specifically for residents over the past few years.

However, Gold said it was only one factor among many that went into the development of such services.

In addition to time, residents must have the right mindset.

“The ‘medical culture’ piece is huge,” said Gold, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

“There’s this normalized belief that we’re supposed to be infallible,” she said.

Efforts are being made, Gold said, to reduce stigma around mental health conditions. She agreed that more work needs to be done.

This is, in part, to improve patient care. Dr. Gold noted that doctors uncomfortable with mental health struggles “may also stigmatize them in their patients.”

“If they see this as a weakness in themselves,” she said, “they may see it as a weakness in others.”

In addition, Gold and Sen said, research suggests that burnout and depression among providers can have a negative impact on the care they provide to patients, such as making medical errors more likely or limiting their empathy.

In particular, it is critical to look at how the pandemic may affect improvements in residents’ mental health.

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In the study, some intern doctors experienced the pandemic during their internship.

Their experience did not differ significantly from those of previous interns.

Gold, however, said that there is still much to learn: How has loneliness, isolation, and other stressors impacted residents’ mental health as the disease has spread?

Gold noted that one silver lining to the pandemic is that it has caused more discussion about the importance of mental health among health care professionals.

“People are at least talking about it more now,” she said.

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