Research Article
Volume 10 Issue 3 - 2021
Anxiety and Depression in Medical Students Worldwide: Where do we go from here?
Jacqueline Mincer1,2, Melanie Mincer3, Sachinthya Lokuge4, Kathryn Fotinos4, Geneva Mason4 and Martin A Katzman4,5,6,7*
1Global Health, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
2Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
3Faculty of Dentistry, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, United States
4START Clinic for Mood and Anxiety Disorders, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
5Department of Psychology, Adler Graduate Professional School, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
6The Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
7Department of Psychology, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
*Corresponding Author: Martin A Katzman, START Clinic for Mood and Anxiety Disorders, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Received: October 07, 2020; Published: February 27, 2021


Introduction: Alarming rates of mental illness in medical students are well-established worldwide: medical students consistently have higher rates of anxiety and depression than the general population. With easy access to a growing library of research on the subject, knowing when and how to generalize findings can feel paralyzing. The objective of this narrative review is to present an updated understanding of the quality of current literature surrounding anxiety, depression and suicidality in medical students. Particular attention will focus on severity of mental illness as well as identified risk factors unique to medical student populations.

Methods: Reviewed studies were collected from electronic databases (PubMED, psycINFO, Web of Science), and references of included studies were screened for additional relevant articles. Included studies were published within 2008 to 2018 and used BDI and BAI scales for measurement of depression and anxiety, respectively.

Results: All reviewed studies reported severity of depression and anxiety through prevalence rates; however, deviations in instrument cut-off scores confound the ability to draw accurate comparisons across studies. Best research practices follow well-validated cut-off scores, report both mean scores and prevalence data and openly explain reasoning behind investigation of specific risk factors.

Discussion: More adequate representation of anxiety and suicidality in medical students is needed. Increased awareness of risk factors associated with depression and anxiety is needed for research as well as proper detection and prevention of depressive and anxiety symptoms in medical students. Recommendations for next steps and initiatives by medical schools and supporting faculty are also discussed.


Keywords: Anxiety; Depression; Medical School; Medical Students


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Citation: Martin A Katzman., et al. “Anxiety and Depression in Medical Students Worldwide: Where do we go from here?”. EC Psychology and Psychiatry 10.3 (2021): 81-92.

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