Nearly one third of young doctors in training suffer from depression and this phenomenon may have negative effects on health care, according to a US study.
The analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association included more than 17,000 physicians in training, going back as far as 1963.
Led by Douglas Mata, a doctor at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, the research involved a systematic review and meta-analysis of 54 studies involving 17,560 physicians.
Previous research has found that resident physicians experience higher rates of depression than the general public, though a precise estimate of just how common it is among young doctors has been elusive until now.
Studies have also shown that resident depression can be linked to poor-quality patient care and increased medical errors.
"Because the development of depression has been linked to a higher risk of future depressive episodes and greater long-term morbidity, these findings may affect the long-term health of resident doctors," said the study.
"Depression among residents may also affect patients, given established associations between physician depression and lower-quality care."
The study authors said more research is needed to identify ways to prevent and treat depression during graduate medical education.