New Delhi: Recently, an AIIMS Delhi doctor, said to be addicted to drugs, was found dead in his hostel room under suspicious circumstances. Similar disturbing news came from Karimnagar in Telangana where a postgraduate medical student of Prathima Institute of Medical Sciences allegedly committed suicide. What could be the possible reasons of these untimely deaths?
A recent study by Mayo Clinic researchers found that medical students are more prone to alcohol abuse than their peers not attending medical school. Burnout factors such as emotional exhaustion or feelings of depersonalization were associated with alcohol abuse among medical students.
According to Dr K K Aggarwal, honorary secretary general, Indian Medical Association (IMA), suicide rates are more in doctors as compared to others as the study pressure is more in doctors. Also, they know how to end life. “They have got the knowledge of which medicine to take and in what amount to end life,” Dr Aggarwal told India Medical Times.
However, Dr Aggarwal believes that incidents of drug addiction are same in medical colleges as in engineering colleges.
Speaking of drug abuse by young medicos, Dr Ashoka Jahnavi Prasad, a psychiatrist, told India Medical Times, “I think people who are of risk taking nature tend to get more into these things. I don’t think that the family has any sort of role in getting in drug addiction, though peer pressure can be considered as one reason. But individual nature of experimenting and trying new things is the main reason. Easy availability of drugs could be another reason.”
Dr Prasad recommends for a strong legislation to stop drug addiction among people. He also believes that there should be some interview process in medical colleges to see if the candidate has got the right attitude to be a doctor.
According to Dr Aggarwal, the authorities are working towards decreasing the suicide rates among young doctors. He also said that there have been some changes in the medical curriculum.
US-based Mayo Clinic researchers have also recommended wellness curricula for medical schools. Hoping this gets implemented in India too.
by Pooja Pandey