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Interview with Dr. Ulrick Vieux on "Confronting Reality"


The Association of Osteopathic Directors and Medical Educators is offering a two-part webinar on medical student and physician mental health on May 10 and 17, 2017. In the Confronting Reality two-part series, Ulrick Vieux, DO, MS, Eric Jarmon, DO, and Stephanie Kuntz, DO, will teach viewers how to identify at-risk individuals and offer strategies for addressing mental illness.

In this edited interview, Dr. Vieux, psychiatry Residency Program Director—Orange Regional Medical Center discussed the reasons why mental health awareness among physicians and medical students has been prioritized recently.

What has happened recently to bring the focus of the medical profession to students and providers in mental distress?
Recently many high-profile suicides amongst physicians have happened, thereby putting a necessary spotlight on how medical schools and residencies are dealing with this situation.

Has this always been a problem for healthcare providers or have recent conditions contributed to more prevalence in mental health disorders?
This has always been a problem but as a society that is attempting to destigmatize illness it is vital to be proactive in dealing with burnout, mental illness and suicide amongst medical students and physicians.

What are the main barriers that healthcare providers and students face in helping one another address the issues of mental distress?
The stigma of admitting being overwhelmed and that help is needed. Seeking help can be viewed as a sign of weakness but rather it is a sign of strength.

How will your webinar series on Confronting Reality with AODME benefit viewers with solutions to this ongoing problem?
First the goal is to continue to open the dialogue and offer solutions by reviewing what proactive programs are doing to help their students and residents.