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Junior Faculty Presentations

Maria Muzik, MD, MS and Srijan Sen, MD, PhD

Muzik: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychopathological condition that affects thousands of parents in the United States. PTSD occurs after the exposure to a traumatic (e.g. war, death) leads to tremendous behavioral, cognitive, and social changes in the mind of a person. Research shows that specifically, women are more likely to develop PTSD after experiencing a traumatic event. Subsequently, PTSD can tremendously alter the parenting style of a mother and in the end impact the development of both mother and child. In this talk, Dr. Muzik describes studies that show how mothers dealing with trauma parent differently, and also the actual effect that this has on the mother-child relationship. In summary, Dr. Muzik concludes that a coercive parenting style, catalyzed by PTSD, likely increases the lifetime prevalence of PTSD in the child. Also, maternal perinatal psychopathology is heavily associated with child behavior risk (e.g. sleep, attachment). The talk ends with some proposed interventions that seek to help mothers dealing with trauma through a multi-dimensional approach to education about coping and healthy parenting. Sen: Statistics show that each year, more and more college graduates in the United States choose to enroll in Medical School. After four years of Medical School, almost all of these students must then attend a 3-4 year residency program before becoming what most people would consider a “practicing doctor.” During the first year of residency the students go through a internship program that many includes 80+ hours of work per week, and a stress that stems from making life and death decisions without much prior practice. The rigorous stress of working long hours coupled with the stress of making such important decisions make the people going through the internship process predisposed to psychopathological complications; especially depression. In this presentation, Dr. Sen discusses an on-going, online study that seeks to empirically track the true impact of the medical internship year on the prevalence of depression symptoms in students. Furthermore, risk factors (e.g. early life trauma) and protective factors (e.g. social support) are also explored in the role that they play for the maintenance of stress for interns.


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