Care Committees To Monitor Medical College Students Bi-Annually

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Care Committees To Monitor Medical College Students Bi-Annually

| Updated: February 8, 2023 13:02

Nearly 32 medical colleges in Gujarat are all set to get dedicated committees to address the growing problem of suicide by medical students. Experts have suggested periodic assessment every six to 12 months and have also sought improvement in the teacher mentor-student ratio, better peer support and a dedicated helpline. 

In a recent letter, the Indian Medical Association Gujarat State Branch (IMA-GSB) directed colleges authorities to set up IMA-GSB Care Committees with 11 members each, at the earliest. 

The letter, dated February 1, labels suicide by medical students as a “burning issue” and noted that “students are faced with lack of mental health and peer support in the dealing with the burden of medical education.”

“The care committee will have three doctors from IMA, two psychiatrists, two medical students, two parents and two senior doctors from the medical college and hospital,” shared Dr Mehul Shah, secretary IMA-GSB. He stressed that the purpose behind the help groups is to make sure that no student feels lonely or under duress. 

Detailing the same, Dr Hansa Goswami, in-charge dean, B.J. Medical College shared: “We do have the assessments currently but it is undertaken only once a year. We need to step this up to every six months. Only then would we know about what is going on inside the student’s mind.”

Incidentally, Gujarat recorded nine deaths by suicide by medical college students in 2022. Of this, five were from Ahmedabad much like the 21-year-old medical college student from NHM Municipal Medical College who jumped to his from the Atal Bridge, earlier this year. 

In terms of data, a national study on suicides in the medical field indicates that between 2010 and 2019, nearly 358 medics committed suicide. The number includes 125 UG students, 15 PG students and 128 doctors. Throwing more light on the matter, Rahul Gameti, president, Junior Doctors’ Association, stated: “Workload is not the only factor. We must be able to identify stressors, including workplace harassment and ragging in case of new students.” 

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