VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.
Bolstering Mental Wellness in the Medical Field: A New Role of Counselors
Annette Albrecht, Sharla Shaffer, and Beck Munsey
High rates of physician and medical student suicides occur yearly. Being in the
medical field itself can be considered a risk factor for depression and suicide.
Therefore, the medical field is beginning to seek an interdisciplinary approach to
assisting helpers in need, and the counseling field can play an important role.
Understanding the unique occupational stresses, hidden curriculum, stigma, and
pressures these individuals face is crucial. Aiding this population also provides
the opportunity to address the considerable incidence of medical errors attributed
to physician depression and distress. Populations such as females and sexual
minority individuals face additional challenges. Counselors are in a prime
position to address physician suicide and depression, which helps improve
patient safety. Proactively educating future medical students on the occupational
stresses of burnout, depression, and suicidal ideation could prevent them from
experiencing these conditions.
Keywords: physician depression, suicide, counseling, depression, medical school