Is depression more prevalent in medical students?

It appears so.

Chris Rangel points to a study showing that 21.2 percent of medical students (that’s more than 1 in 5), suffer from depression, compared to 10 percent in the general population.

Depression seems to hit its peak during the second year of medical school, and then gradually improves. In general, the rates of depression for students were generally higher than in residency.

Indeed, the second year of medical school is indeed the bleakest, but when clinical rotations start in the third year, it does get immeasurably better.

To help, Dr. Rangel links to a study from The Lancet, comparing the efficacy and tolerability of various antidepressant options. My preferred prescribing choice, Celexa, seems to fare pretty well, although Zoloft and Lexapro appears to top the list.

That said, it’s still somewhat troubling that so many of our future doctors suffer from depression. Just wait until they experience what’s awaiting them in the real world.


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