Suicides Prompt Medical Schools to Finally Address Student Mental Health

May 19, 2017

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News


Medical schools and residency programs across the country are increasing efforts to prevent suicide and promote mental health among students and residents. These include wellness and stress reduction programs, mental health screenings, and support services. The University of Southern California (USC) Keck School of Medicine requires all of its students to undergo “Keck Check” mental health evaluations and to take several days off per year. According to USC Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs Donna Elliott, schools have begun to address the shame that is commonly associated with physician depression and suicide. “There’s a strong need in medical schools now in supporting students’ mental health,” she said. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) recently launched a national initiative to prevent suicide among physicians and medical trainees, and it hopes to soon require all residency programs to have wellness measures in place. 

Spark Extra! Visit the ACGME resource library for information on physician well-being.