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  • sdadmin
    February 21, 2019 at 11:44 am #2322
    1. WHEREAS, mental health concerns are growing in the medical community with the equivalent of one
    2. doctor per day committing suicide in the United States, which is the highest suicide rate of any profession1;
    3. and
    4. WHEREAS, a 2019 national study of more than 15,000 physicians in over 29 specialties found that 44%
    5. of physicians reported feeling burned out, 11% were colloquially depressed, and 4% were clinically
    6. despressed1; and
    7. WHEREAS, data shows that burnout begins before students become physicians; approximately 50% of
    8. medical students experience burnout2; and
    9. WHEREAS, in addition to being burned out, approximately one third of medical students meet the criteria
    10. for alcohol abuse or dependence, which is double the rate of their non-medical student peers3; and
    11. WHEREAS, medical students are three times more likely than the rest of the general population in their
    12. age range to commit suicide,4; and
    13. WHEREAS, one approach found to be successful in reducing stress and promoting well-being during
    14. medical school is to engage in effective self-care5; and
    15. WHEREAS, a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that organization directed interventions
    16. were more likely to lead to reductions in burnout than physician directed ones1; and
    17. WHEREAS, the Association for Study of Medical Education published a study with data that strongly
    18. supports developing and implementing a time-off policy for doctors-in-training in order to enhance well-
    19. being6; and
    20. WHEREAS, the ACGME has already implemented standards to give residents time off for self-care—
    21. wherein they do not have to address upcoming responsibilities or educational concerns. The current
    22. standard is one day off in seven, averaged over four weeks7; and
    23. WHEREAS, even though medical students show similar alarming mental health concerns as physicians,
    24. no such time-off standard exists on the medical student level; now, therefore it be
    25. RESOLVED, that the Mental Health Task Force within the American Osteopathic Association mandate a
    26. time-off standard for Osteopathic medical schools during didactic years. A proposed standard is such that:
    27. 1. Osteopathic medical students will have at least one designated weekend off every four weeks.
    28. 2. A designated weekend off will be defined such that there are no examinations of any kind
    29. scheduled during the following week. This offers students at least one weekend per month for self
    30. care.
    31. 3. Breaks longer than a 3-day weekend (i.e. Thanksgiving, winter, spring, and summer break) negate
    32. the need for a designated weekend off during those respective months.


    1. Kane, L. (2019, January 16). Medscape National Physician Burnout, Depression & Suicide Report 2019. Retrieved from https://www.medscape.com/slideshow/2019-lifestyleburnout-depression-6011056#1
    2. Dyrbye LN, Thomas MR, Massie FS, Power DV, Eacker A, Harper W, et al. Burnout and Suicidal Ideation among U.S. Medical Students. Ann Intern Med. ;149:334–341.doi:10.7326/0003-4819-149-5-200809020-00008
    3. Krisberg. K. (2016, September 27). Medical School Burnout: Reaching Out to Students at Risk. Retrieved from https://news.aamc.org/medical-education/article/medical-school-burnout/
    4. Suicide is More Common in Medical School Than in Any Other School Setting. (2017, June 21). Retrieved from https://www.amsa.org/suicide-is-more-common-in-medical-school-than-in-any-other-school-setting/
    5. Ayala, E. E., Winseman, J. S., Johnsen, R. D., & Mason, H. R. (2018). U.S. medical students who engage in self-care report less stress and higher quality of life. BMC Medical Education,18(1). doi:10.1186/s12909-018-1296-x
    6. Cedfeldt, A. S., Bower, E. A., English, C. , Grady‐Weliky, T. A., Girard, D. E. and Choi, D. (2010), Personal time off and residents’ career satisfaction, attitudes and emotions. Medical Education, 44: 977-984. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2923.2010.03773.x
    7. The ACGME’s Approach to Limit Resident Duty Hours 12 Months After Implementation: A Summary of Achievements. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.acgme.org/Portals/0/PFAssets/PublicationsPapers/dh_dutyhoursummary2003-04.pdf

    Submitted by:
    Katherine Miotke, OMS I – Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences – Joplin
    Nicole Siacunco, OMS II – Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences – Joplin

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  1. Justin Scobey
    New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University
    February 24, 2019 at 8:24 pm #2409

    Wow, this sounds like an awesome idea! As current medical students, we know more than anyone else how much we push ourselves everyday to keep up with all the demands of being a medical student in 2019. Most of us can agree that mental health in medical school is a problem and as student doctors we should be able to propose common sense solutions to this problem. As a national body of osteopathic medical school students we should not settle with depression and burn out being the status quo for our generation. We can do better and this resolution is a fantastic step in the right direction. Great work Katherine and Nicole!