Year: 2021 Source: Academic Psychiatry. (2020). 44(2), 223–226. doi: 10.1007/s40596-019-01145-4 SIEC No: 20210528

Medical students have a higher incidence of mental health problems than the general population (1). This trend is similar among physicians and residents (2, 3). Barriers to treatment-seeking include stigma-related concerns, including peer judgment (4).

Despite increasing efforts to destigmatize mental illness, negative attitudes towards mental health and help-seeking remain. One study found that students who experienced burnout were twice as likely to have seen a supervisor negatively judge a student who sought care (5). Another study found increased stigma around medical students disclosing depression to friends and increased stigma around working with depressed classmates (6). Medical students show even stronger stigma surrounding suicide, despite the alarming amount of medical student and physician suicides (7). Finally, students’ negative attitudes towards mental health translates into patient care, with medical students having low regard for patients with mental health complaints (8).