Background and objectives: Medical students experience depression, burnout, and mental illness at a higher rate than general population. A better understanding of related risk factors can help target appropriate support services for them. The aim of the study was to assess the occurrence of depression and identify its risk factors among undergraduate students in a medical College in Kolkata, India. Methodology: A descriptive, cross-sectional study using a two stage, stratified cluster sampling technique was used to select a sample of 289 students. Data were collected using a self-administered, anonymous questionnaire based on Becks Depression Inventory II. Results: The mean score of students on depression scale was 10.47±10.39. 22.5 % of students tested positive for some form of depression while 6.2% had severe to extreme depression. The risk factors of depressive symptoms identified were older age, lower family income, students who did not choose admission in MBBS course on their own, had addictions, felt negatively about results, faced difficulty with study course and had relationship issues. Students with relationship issues in their personal lives were 3.7 times more likely to exhibit depressive symptoms than without them. Students who faced difficulty coping with study course were 2.18 times more likely to exhibit depressive symptoms than without them. Conclusion: Academic performance alone doesn’t influence the mental health of students, rather factors like older age, socioeconomic status, role in choice of medical career, negative perception of academic performance, difficulty with study course and relationship issues are also important.
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