Good practice among medical schools with students with mental health concerns

What were the key findings?

Medical students tend to conceal mental illness from their medical school because of the perception that disclosure will be seen as a weakness and a threat to their future medical career.

The report identifies four key areas for improving the provision of support to medical students.

  • Clarifying the role and purpose of the personal tutor.
  • Establishing proportionate, transparent monitoring systems to identify individuals who may require support.
  • Developing a culture that advocates peer support.
  • Advocating an independent and trusted occupational health model of student support (recognising that a medical school led model may reinforce existing stigmas by positioning mental health illness outside of the routine expectations of student life)

Why did we commission this research?

Medical schools asked us for more advice and guidance on how they should support their students with mental health conditions. We commissioned this research to inform the development of guidance for medical schools that would address this issue.

What did the research involve?

The research comprised a mixed-methods approach encompassing systematic literature review, an online survey and structured telephone interviews with medical schools together with focus groups and narrative interviews with medical students.

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