New England Surgical Society

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Health Maintenance and Screening Among Residents
Erika Rangel, *Manuel Castillo Angeles, *Mehreen Kisat, *Tovy Kamine, Reza Askari
Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA

Objective: Physicians in training are at increased risk for depression compared to other educated young adults. Depression negatively impacts academic performance, resident physical health and emotional well-being, and adversely affects patient care and outcomes. Physicians have higher rates of suicidal ideation and suicide than the general population, with women at greatest risk. Little is known about depression screening amongst residents. We aimed to assess depression screening rates among residents in New England teaching hospitals.
Design: Survey questionnaire.
Setting: Self-administered survey electronically distributed via program directors.
Patients: Physician residents from 181 New England programs across 12 different specialties.
Interventions: None.
Main Outcome Measures: Descriptive measures on medical health.
Results: 299 residents completed the survey. Median age: 30 4 (median IQR). 61%: female; 74%: white; 74%: academic programs. 42% had not seen a PCP for >1 year. 49% of residents had never been screened for depression, and men and women were screened with equal frequency.
Conclusions: Despite a high prevalence of depression and increased risk of suicide, only half of resident physicians undergo mental health screening. Barriers to self-care and help-seeking behavior should be explored. Wellness programs should explore confidential evaluation of trainees to ensure timely intervention for those suffering from depression.


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