Medical students and mental health: Skills and supports for full inclusion

Date:  Saturday 5 September 2020
Time:  0930-1230
Location:  Jura, Crowne Plaza

  • Joseph Murray, Weill Cornell Medical College, USA
  • Lisa Meeks, University of Michigan Medical School, USA
  • Neera Jain, The University of Auckland, New Zealand

Summary of theme and why it is important:  Over the last decade, much has been written about medical students and mental health. Medical students experience high rates of depression and burnout. Some might come to medical school with preexisting mood or anxiety disorders. Others develop these conditions in medical school. Some have conditions which rise to the level of a disability that can necessitate appropriate accommodations. How can we support students with mental health issues during their time in medical school? This case-based workshop invites participants to think through several real-life common scenarios. After an introduction (5 minutes), the co-presenters will invite participants to share some challenging experiences (15-20 minutes), before outlining the agenda for the morning (5 minutes). The participants will work in small groups at their tables in discussing 3 cases. (Each case will involve 10 minutes small group discussion, 10-15 minute large group discussion led by one of the small groups, 5 minutes of take-home points). The facilitators will then invite a volunteer participant to present a challenging case to the room, and we will treat this as a 4th case (10 minutes small group discussion, 10-15 minute large group discussion led by one of the small groups, 5 minutes of take-away points.) The workshop will conclude with each small group engaging in a discussion about 1-2 points they can take back to their institution (10 minutes). We will invite individual members to share some of these points with the larger group (15 minutes.)
What participants will gain:  1) Skill and confidence in talking about mental health issues with medical students and colleagues. 2) Specific strategies to help students who are dealing with various mental health issues. 3) Comfort in discussing the concepts of disability and appropriate accommodations. 4) Critical skills in evaluating how their home institutions work with students with mental health issues.
Who should participate:  Medical educators across the continuum (faculty, administrators, students affairs, student health, disability services, support staff), especially those who have found this topic challenging in their previous/current work.
Level of workshop:  Introductory/Intermediate

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