Invited Commentary

Commentary on “Utilization of Counseling Services at One Medical School”

Authors: Joseph C. Kobos, PhD


Chang and colleagues are to be commended for undertaking this study of the use of mental health counseling by medical students on their campus.1 Two suicides had occurred in the recent past, and they determined the extent of depression/burnout in the students in their medical school, as well as the number of students who sought counseling and reported signs or symptoms of depression or burnout. The study found that half of the students who completed the survey reported signs of depression or burnout. Unfortunately, only 25% of these students had sought consultation in the counseling service or elsewhere; however, the good news is that students who used the counseling service reported a positive outcome and indicated that seeking counseling was a helpful coping mechanism. In addition to providing coping skills, counseling provided confidential listening, helped improve communication strategies, and identified sources of negative emotions.

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1. Chang E, Eddins-Folensbee F, Porter B, et al. Utilization of counseling services at one medical school. South Med J. 2013; 106: 449–453.