Mumbai: BYL Nair Hospital and Dental College has hired a full-time clinical psychiatrist to counsel resident doctors.
This comes after a doctor sent an anonymous letter to all major BMC medical colleges last month, stating that they are being exploited by department heads and face depression.
Officials said there was already a growing emphasis on the need to bring a psychiatrist onboard in view of depression and anxiety problems among students. However, it took four years for Nair to sanction the post.
Five years ago a student had committed suicide in Nair Dental College due to stress, which led to anxiety and depression among other students.
Dr Neelam Andrade, Dean of Nair Dental College and medical director of four civic-run hospitals, said the psychiatrist “will help us keep track of patients and the mental health problems of students”.
“First- and second-year medical students feel most insecure in college campuses. Many students join the institute at the age of 17 or 18 and face various challenges, which can lead to depression, anxiety, stress. Other issues such as new location, financial difficulties and not being in the desired field of study can also contribute to problems,” she said.
“The psychiatrist will conduct six sessions weekly with students from different classes and counsel them for depression and other issues. The civic body has taken a good step. Medical students and resident doctors face too much abuse from seniors. They are also targeted by relatives of patients,” one doctor said.
Dr Sangeeta Rawat, Dean of King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital, said KEM had appointed three psychiatrists last year.
“The psychiatrist appears as a friend to medical students, which makes it easier to understand their problems. The personal details of students is kept confidential,” she said.
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