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Emotional Wellness

Maintaining emotional wellness during medical school can be a difficult challenge at times. All students occasionally feel overwhelmed by the demands of medical school and professional training, but most maintain emotional wellness successfully by attending to their feelings, gaining support from family, friends, or partners and achieving wellness in the other areas of their life (spiritual, physical, and interpersonal) that are critical to emotional health. However, research suggests that as many as 20-25% of medical students may experience a significant episode of depression or anxiety during medical school that would benefit from professional counseling and/or medical evaluation and treatment.

DON'T SWEEP EMOTIONAL CONCERNS UNDER THE RUG. There are a host of easily accessible resources at the University and in the community to which students can turn for assistance with emotional or psychological concerns. These resources are free or covered by your personal health insurance (University-sponsored or private) in almost all cases, with minimal out-of-pocket fees. In addition, these resources are strictly CONFIDENTIAL and outside of the medical school administration and faculty. Students need not be concerned about the privacy of their medical issues when seeking such assistance. Students are also guaranteed the right to pursue necessary medical or psychological care during their education.

If you are concerned about your ability to receive care or unsure of how to access care, you are welcome to speak confidentially with Dean Rhonda Goldberg. However, the other university resources listed below can be accessed directly without communicating with the medical school in any way.

Emotional and Mental Health Resources for Students:

Colonial Health Center Counseling & Psychological Services: Marvin Center, Ground Floor, 800 21st Street, NW, 202-994-5300, Services include CONFIDENTIAL FREE and/or low cost individual or group counseling depending on the specific issue and referral to local resources. Students can see a counselor at CHC or receive direct referral to external resources.

Counselor-on-Call: There is a CONFIDENTIAL counselor-on-call from Colonial Health 24/7. You can reach the counselor by calling the center at 202-994-5300 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.

Colonial Health Center Psychiatric Services: Marvin Center, Ground Floor, 800 21st Street, NW, 202-994-5300, The Colonial Health Center can provide CONFIDENTIAL FREE, or low cost psychiatric evaluation, treatment, or referral services. All students, regardless of insurance carrier, can be seen at Colonial Health. Psychiatric services are FREE for students covered by the University Student Health insurance. Students with other forms of insurance pay a low co-payment for services which may be covered by their insurance. Students can also be referred to services that are covered by their insurance if necessary.

Dean Rhonda Goldberg: SMHS Dean's Office, 7th Floor Ross Hall, 202-994-3176. Dean Goldberg can provide CONFIDENTIAL assistance and referral to University resources or to a group of counselors and psychiatrists outside of the University system who are willing to see medical students, frequently at low or sliding-scale fees depending on your insurance coverage. Dean Goldberg is NOT involved in student evaluation or the preparation of your Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE, aka Dean's Letter).