Dr. Kaz Nelson Wants to Change the Conversation Around Mental Health for Medical Professionals

Kaz Nelson, MD, Assistant Professor and Vice Chair of Education in the Department of Psychiatry, recently took the stage at New Resident Orientation to talk about mental health and suicide rates among doctors. 

Doctors have high rates of burnout, depression and substance use, which unfortunately leads to 300 to 400 doctors committing suicide each year. Dr. Nelson believes that the culture of medicine is a big factor: "We're really conditioned to appear competent and confident and professional," Nelson said, "so we've essentially set up a system where perfectionism is rewarded and struggle can be punished at different times."

MPR News featured Dr. Nelson and her initiative to reduce the stigma and create an open and honest conversation around mental health with medical professionals.

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