19-07-2012, 08:06 AM #1
- Join Date
- Jul 2012
1st year medic needs some advise urgently :( possible depression?
Will a medical school kick someone out if they have developed a mental illness?
Have been experiencing some problems the whole year but haven't dared to talk to my GP: am worried that I will be deemed mentally unsuitable and the GP will inform the medical school.... when I am not sure if I actually have a real problem.
Last edited by medicalstudent2012; 19-07-2012 at 08:25 AM.
19-07-2012, 12:07 PM #2
- Join Date
- Jul 2012
- Mumbai, India
does your university have a counselor or a counselling center? you could talk to them first and decide whats best for you there. Counselors are bound by a confidentiality agreement and cannot break it unless they feel that there is a strong risk to your life or someone else's, so you're probably quite safe talking to them if you don't feel comfortable with your GP just yet.
19-07-2012, 03:34 PM #3
I think the key think is to forget the Uni admin and think about your own duty to ensure that you are fit to practice and get the right support.
If you get that support and fulfil your duty, what can they hold against you?
Medicine is a high stress vocation and medical school isnít much better, so depression and stress are far from abnormal. However you need to ensure that you deal with it appropriately and get the right help. But consider that if you are not getting the right help, are you still fit to practice?
The uni will not want to lose you after investing so much in you already, so will want help you stay if it can be salvaged. As mentioned above, the counselling service should be confidential. However if itís so serious that its effecting your studies you need to bear in mind that the Uni may have already noted the issue and if youíre trying to hide it, that might make things worse.
As an example Iíve also had a lot of stress recently, with the death of my sonís mum, just a small fragment of the problems. (This was a only a few weeks before the exams.) The uni is throwing help my way as they donít want to lose me. In fact itís quite annoying in some ways to be fussed over, as I have great personal support and had already taken appropriate steps. So I feel that I am coping well and many people have told me that to. However itís nice to know that that they understand and accept that Iím distracted. Plus having my missed lectures talked through by the actual lecturer is much better that catching up with a friend.
Also, by being open, I have also had the most amazing support from my class mates.
Because Iím older that a majority of them, plus a little shy and then I have rarely been able to socialise with them (due to my family commitments), I have always felt slightly apart from most of my class. However the last few weeks I canít describe how touched I am by the support I have had from them and itís made me realised how supported I am.
However the most important thing is for you to get the help that you need.
You have to make the call over if you trust the Uni enough to tell them. But consider that trust is a two-way street. If you donít trust them, that will probably effect how well they trust you. They have a duty of care to ensure that you are fit to practice, so will be watching for signs of you not coping. So this may well mean if itís a serious issue and you have tried to hide it, they may well doubt your claims to me OK or dealing with the issue. But if you are open that you have an issue, they are likely to have more confident that you are seeking appropriate help. The openness implies trust and the same situation is looked upon totally differently!
I would talk to the *confidential* counselling service first, and see what they advise. The uni arenít going to be interested if itís not that serious a case.
But going there, you are keeping with your duty to look after yourself.
Even if the counselling service do advise telling the uni, they shouldnít need to know the details, but should only need to know they you are resolving the matter appropriately.
However the uni may be able to offer you further help!
For example I was offered :-
- Catch up lectures.
- Direct access to the psychologist (in addition to the standard counsellors service)
- ďExceptional circumstancesĒ allowances on my exams. Ė i.e. the choice of delaying my exams to when the resits are, but it still counting as a first time sitting. Or taking my exams on schedule, but if I failed them and the resits, I would have the support of the uni at the exam board to be able retake the year.
Plus by not having to hide what I was feeling, I was able to cope with it and work it through a lot better...
When youíre feeling crap and scared about the effect its having on you, itís hard not to worry about it being held against you.
But if its ďfixableĒ why would it be? And if itís not fixable you would want to continue, so itís not a problem.
Remember, all Doctors get ill. Good doctors sort it out, bad Doctors donít!
But good luck. PM me if you want to chat in private...
19-07-2012, 03:40 PM #4
That third to last paragraph should read
But if its ďfixableĒ why would it be? And if itís not fixable why would you want to continue, so itís not a problem.
19-07-2012, 03:47 PM #5
If you're really that worried then I would get some professional legal advice. I'm not a employment solicitor so please take this with a pinch of salt. However, I work in an HR department so it's a small pinch.
Depression can qualify as a mental disability, and under the Equality Act 2010 no-one (neither employer or educational institution) can arbitrarily dismiss you for this reason. They can however take action if they believe either you or patients are at risk. In some ways it is no different to developing cancer or other chronic condition while at Uni. It would also be incredibly irresponsible for a university to simply dismiss you with no thought to your wellbeing.
The main thing is not to let your performance suffer as this then gives them no criteria to act against you. Since your condition is unlikely to go away on it's own it's best to talk to someone sooner rather than later.
As has been already said, your GP cannot automatically report you the matter to your medical school and may be able to offer useful advice as well as treatment.Warwick (GEP) 2012 entry.
"And of course you can't become
if you only say what you would have done."
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