Rashi Hiranandani is a medical student in the Class of 2019 at the University of Ottawa
Medical school is a stressful time in students’ lives. There are emotional, physical, and mental stressors; particular daunting is the stress of being in new clinical environments on a weekly or even daily basis and having patients’ lives in our hands. Medical students are sleep deprived and over-worked. We have the stress of not matching to the residency of our choice or even not matching to a residency program at all. Medical students also experience significant burnout and compassion fatigue, with burnout rates ranging from 27 to 75% . It thus comes as no surprise that medical students suffer from rates of mental illness higher than the general population. This is not ideal for the health of the medical students, nor is it optimal for the health of the patients they care for.
A 2016 systematic review published in JAMA reported that, on average, 27.2% of medical students deal with depression or depressive symptoms . Among students who suffer from depression, only 16% receive help . ...continue reading →
Domhnall MacAuley is a CMAJ Associate Editor and a professor of primary care in Northern Ireland, UK
“It was the loneliest I’ve ever felt,” said my consultant surgeon colleague as he described lying in his hospital bed the night before cardiac surgery. Even with all his surgical experience, familiarity of the surroundings, knowledge of his own hospital, and utmost confidence in his cardiac surgical colleagues and anaesthetist, he was scared. Despite what our patients might think, being a doctor is no defence against illness and doesn’t make coping with illness any easier.
But, we are our own worst enemies. We put immense pressure on ourselves and don’t want to let our medical colleagues or patients down. I once listened to a single-handed rural GP who had recent chest pain and was awaiting an angiogram. His greatest worry was that he could not get a locum to cover his patients ...continue reading →
There is undeniably a modern surge of chronic disease, gut disorders and autoimmune diseases (cancer, Crohn’s, celiac disease, diabetes, lupus, etc.), especially in the Western world. Patients as well as physicians are paying more attention to the influence of external and lifestyle factors, especially nutrition, stress, and physical movement, on health and chronic systemic inflammation. There seems to be a shift towards patient-centered and whole-body medicine (as opposed to organ-driven diagnosis). More and more patients want to move away from the one-disease-one-pill mentality.
This week, until September 15th, there is a very interesting and perhaps lesser-known online event happening called the Evolution of Medicine Summit. 40 health experts (most of them MDs) are sharing their research, experience and observations regarding the important influence of lifestyle factors on overall health.
The opening talk on Monday was by Dr. Joel Evans, board-certified OB/GYN, senior teaching faculty at the Institute for Functional Medicine and Centre for Mind/Body Medicine. Dr. Evans says that medicine has become depersonalized ...continue reading →