World Mental Health Day 2018, but how aware are medical students?

Godwin Tong

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With the recent global interest in mental health, there has been an increase in the number of people coming forward to discuss the once frowned upon illness. It is true that some progress has been made in terms of establishing an equal footing within the health and social care landscape with the help of various campaigns. However, there is still much work to be done with regards to removing the stigma of mental health within the healthcare sector itself. It is no surprise that mental illness statistics are significantly higher amongst medical practitioners due to the high-stress nature of their jobs, yet it is believed to be under reported. Interestingly, there is emerging evidence that physician burn out stems early in their careers whilst in medical school, suggesting areas that need improvement in medical education with regards to how medical students view and handle mental illness. As such, two issues have been identified and discussed here - the stigmatisation of mental illness whilst in medical school and the underemphasis of mental illness as compared to other physical health problems in medical education. It is hoped that discussing these issues can help stimulate subsequent positive changes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-219
Number of pages3
JournalAdvances in Medical Education and Practice
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • mental health awareness
  • stigma
  • medical education
  • medical student attitudes


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