This month’s journal club was written by Peter Bates,MD.  The December issue of JAMA featured several articles on Medical Education. The article Prevalence of Depression and Depressive Symptoms Among Resident Physicians A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis by Douglas A. Mata, MD, MPH; Marco A. Ramos, MPhil, MSEd; Narinder Bansal, PhD; Rida Khan, BS; Constance Guille, MD, MS; Emanuele Di Angelantonio, MD, PhD; Srijan Sen, MD, PhD with a complimenting editorial, Resident Depression, The Tip of a Graduate Medical Education Iceberg Thomas L. Schwenk, MD.

“Physicians in training are at high risk for depression. However, the estimated prevalence of this disorder varies substantially between studies. [This article attempts] to provide a summary estimate of depression or depressive symptom prevalence among resident physicians.” 1

Here we will discuss the etiology of depression and look into our own resident program. Below are some discussion questions to get the conversation started but please feel free to make your own comments or ask your own questions.

  • Were these results surprising and do they reflect your own experience?
  • What is the etiology of depression and is this population perhaps more susceptible to depression?
  • What could the impact be on the teaching environment and patient care?
  • In the editorial, “burnout” and depression are different but similar. Can the two be confused for one another?

1. Mata DA, Ramos MA, Bansal N, et al. Prevalence of Depression and Depressive Symptoms Among Resident Physicians: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA. 2015;314(22):2373-2383. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.15845.

2.Schwenk TL. Resident Depression: The Tip of a Graduate Medical Education Iceberg. JAMA. 2015;314(22):2357-2358. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.15408.

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