Mechanical engineers are among the most highly skilled jobs in the U.S. But they have to juggle multiple jobs, sometimes working from home, sometimes not.
That’s why many engineers have a medical background.
Now, a study by researchers at the University of Michigan shows that if you have a doctorate in mechanical engineering, you’re much less likely to experience depression.
The findings have been published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
The study was conducted by researchers with the American Psychological Association’s Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience and the Department of Psychology at the Ann Arbor, Michigan, campus of the University at Buffalo.
Researchers found that, among students with a doctorates in mechanical mechanics, those with medical backgrounds had a 27 percent lower rate of depression than students without a medical degree.
They also found that students with medical degrees were more likely to have been diagnosed with depression and had been treated with anti-depressants at some point in their careers.
“The finding is consistent with a number of studies, and we believe that it’s a strong predictor of future mental health,” said study author Andrew D. Kohn, a doctoral candidate in the Department at the university.
“It’s a clear indication that there is a link between medical and medical degree attainment.”
Students with a medical or professional background were more than twice as likely to report being in good or excellent mental health compared with students with no medical or medical degrees, the study found.
Kato, who conducted the study with researchers at New York University, New York State University and the University College London, said the finding is important.
“Our study is consistent and it has strong evidence of the impact of medical education on mental health, and also suggests that medical education can lead to positive mental health outcomes,” Kato said.
The researchers were also interested in finding out how medical graduates compare to students who are not medical professionals, and how this might affect their mental health.
“We did find that medical graduates were more like the general population, with higher rates of depression and lower rates of substance abuse,” Kohn said.
“That may be a result of the fact that medical school is the highest level of education in the world.
The people that go to medical school have all sorts of credentials.
Medical school is not the same as the medical profession.
It’s a different kind of education.”
The findings are not necessarily limited to medical graduates, the researchers also found.
Students with medical education also had higher rates than those with no education for anxiety disorders and depression.
A number of factors might be at play, Kohn noted, including the fact the medical education prepares students for the jobs that require advanced technology.
“A doctorate doesn’t just prepare them for the medical field, it prepares them for life in the workplace,” Kao said.
Kao noted that some medical school graduates are more likely than others to take psychiatric medication.
“These are the kinds of things that are going to affect people’s mental health and make them less likely than other people to seek help for themselves,” Kano said.
But, as Kohn put it, “there are lots of things to be optimistic about.”
This story was produced by NBC News and was originally published on September 16, 2017.
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