Research project to look into mental health of medical students

1 year 1 month 1 week ago Tuesday, August 08 2017 Aug 8, 2017 Tuesday, August 08, 2017 6:25:00 PM CDT August 08, 2017 in News
By: Casey Edwards, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY -  People usually head to the doctor when they’re feeling under the weather, but research shows doctors may not always be quick to seek help for themselves, especially if mental health is involved.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers in Missouri worked together to establish a committee and research project on the mental health of medical students in public higher education.

Governor Greitens signed Senate Bill 52 into law on July 7. The bill creates the “Show Me Compassionate Medical Education Research Project Committee” and requires public medical schools to offer on and off-campus resources on suicide prevention.

The committee is made up of representatives from all public medical schools in Missouri and a representative from the Department of Mental Health.

One student’s family pushed for legislative action after he took his life in 2015. Kevin Dietl was a medical student at A.T. Still University in Kirksville, and his parents said he had depression.

According to Dietl’s parents, he was afraid to talk about how he was feeling with others, both professionals and his peers. But MU medical student Megan Anderson said the school’s willingness to talk about controversial health issues for physicians, like addiction and substance abuse, made her feel more comfortable to talk about that kind of problem.

“Having those tools stressed from the people above us can be really important for us, especially when we’re just starting out,” Anderson said.

More than 15 million Americans are diagnosed with depression, and according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, male physicians are nearly 1.5 times more likely than the general male population to commit suicide. Female physicians are more than two times more likely to commit suicide than their non-physician counterparts.

Under the new law, medical schools can collaborate with the committee to conduct studies on mental health within its student body. Schools are also encouraged to change the culture within classes if that is found to be a cause of students’ stress.

A.T. Still, a private medical school, is still working to improve students' mental health, even without pressure from the legislature.

A.T. Still University Dean Margaret Wilson said, "Awareness needs to be raised at all levels, and we continue to look for ways to reduce stigmas and improve interventions and strategies to engender life-long habits of good health and well-being." 

Anderson said she believes doing research on mental health will have a positive impact on students.

Medical students like to listen to research, so I hope that from this research will come other research so people can start looking at okay, there is a problem within medical school students asking for help,” Anderson said.

AFSA also found that physicians were afraid to seek out help, concerned it would make them seem weak. Anderson said students in her class share this fear, but she said she believes having and learning to manage depression will make her a better doctor.

“I’ve come to terms with realizing that it makes me more of a real person, and for me, it allows me to connect with patients better,” Anderson said.

Wilson said her faculty tries to reflect that same view.

"We have tried to teach our students they are their own first patient, and self-care and balance is critical to their success," Wilson said.

The bill also designates August 28, 2017 as the first annual “Show Me Compassionate Medical Education Day” in the state.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA -- The mayor of Columbia's task force on Climate Action and Adaptation planning could recommend an increase in renewable... More >>
17 minutes ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 2:29:00 AM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Jeff Jones is living just a quarter of a mile away from a future Controlled Animal Feeding... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, September 18 2018 Sep 18, 2018 Tuesday, September 18, 2018 8:26:00 PM CDT September 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Assistant City Counselor Jose Caldera announced the city and Bird are talking about short-term rules regulating the rental... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, September 18 2018 Sep 18, 2018 Tuesday, September 18, 2018 7:25:00 PM CDT September 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri Task Force One continues rescuing people, checking on others and sheltering those in need in the wake... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, September 18 2018 Sep 18, 2018 Tuesday, September 18, 2018 6:48:00 PM CDT September 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - After volunteering at a detention center for women and children seeking asylum in the U.S., one Jefferson City... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, September 18 2018 Sep 18, 2018 Tuesday, September 18, 2018 5:20:00 PM CDT September 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A teenager pleaded guilty Monday in connection with a deadly 2016 shooting on Claudell Lane. Navarro Scott,... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, September 18 2018 Sep 18, 2018 Tuesday, September 18, 2018 3:35:11 PM CDT September 18, 2018 in News
SUNRISE BEACH - Fire Chief Dennis Reilly announced his resignation due to harassment from a board member. Reilly said... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, September 18 2018 Sep 18, 2018 Tuesday, September 18, 2018 3:23:00 PM CDT September 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - City employees are getting a raise in this year's budget, but some say it's not enough for line... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, September 18 2018 Sep 18, 2018 Tuesday, September 18, 2018 3:13:00 PM CDT September 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A lawn care app launched in Columbia to connect consumers with people who want to make extra money... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, September 18 2018 Sep 18, 2018 Tuesday, September 18, 2018 2:16:00 PM CDT September 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Police Department is set to receive nine brand new police vehicles in the next... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, September 18 2018 Sep 18, 2018 Tuesday, September 18, 2018 1:56:00 PM CDT September 18, 2018 in News
MACON - Deputies are investigating after a member of the Missouri National Guard was shot at a training site near... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, September 18 2018 Sep 18, 2018 Tuesday, September 18, 2018 1:40:00 PM CDT September 18, 2018 in News
(CNN Money) -- Facebook's ad targeting system is being used by some employers to unlawfully discriminate based on gender, a... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, September 18 2018 Sep 18, 2018 Tuesday, September 18, 2018 11:06:05 AM CDT September 18, 2018 in News
NEOSHO (AP) — A southwest Missouri man has pleaded guilty to shooting at a sheriff's deputy during a chase. ... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, September 18 2018 Sep 18, 2018 Tuesday, September 18, 2018 10:41:00 AM CDT September 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A woman has been arrested on suspicion of abuse or neglect of a 4-year-old child. Police arrested... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, September 18 2018 Sep 18, 2018 Tuesday, September 18, 2018 10:11:00 AM CDT September 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A more than 25-year-old park shelter and playground could say goodbye soon. The replacement of those two... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, September 18 2018 Sep 18, 2018 Tuesday, September 18, 2018 7:52:00 AM CDT September 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Council approved the 2019 fiscal year budget Monday for $32,807,390.05. Mayor Carrie Tergin... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 10:13:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
FULTON - The Fulton Police Department arrested five people Monday for stealing from a Hibbett Sports store in Fulton. ... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 9:49:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- President Donald Trump on Monday ordered the declassification of various documents and text messages related to the Russia... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 5:46:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 73°
3am 74°
4am 73°
5am 73°
6am 73°