The Intern Health Study is an NIH-funded longitudinal cohort study that assesses stress and mood in medical interns at institutions around the US and China, enrolling 1500 to 3000 new interns each year. We are hopeful that data collected in this study will further understanding of the psychological, genetic, and program factors involved in the development of depression under stress, and make a real change in the residency experience.


Principal Investigator

Intern Health Study

Phone: 734-764-5192

Lab Website: 

  • Facebook - Grey Circle

SURVEYS: Participants will complete an initial survey and short follow-up surveys through the Intern+ App. Surveys will contain questions pertaining to personality traits, stressful life events, and psychological symptoms.


DAILY MOOD: Participants will receive notifications on their iPhone prompting them to rate their daily mood on a scale of 1 to 10.

FITNESS TRACKER (US only): Participants will regularly wear a Fitbit or Apple Watch for the purpose of measuring daily activity and sleep. Steps, sleep, and mood data for the past week, month, and year will display in the app, as well as predicted fatigue over the next 24 hours and how "shifted" your circadian clock is from average (Fitbit only).

WEEKLY CHALLENGES: Some participants will be able to partake in weekly step and sleep competitions against other PGY-1 programs.

DNA (US only): Because we are interested in the relationship between psychological, environmental, and genetic factors, participants will also be asked to submit a salivary DNA sample via postal mail. Participants will have the option to receive their raw genomic data for personal use.


We have designed this study to ensure complete security and confidentiality of the information participants provide.




If you will be beginning your medical internship in Summer 2020, you are eligible for our study!


The Intern+ App is now available for iOS and Android phones.




1) After providing consent and completing the initial survey via the link in your invitation email, download the Intern+ App. If you have not received an invitation, but meet our eligibility requirements, please email us to request an access code.




2) Launch the app and enter your unique 6-digit passcode.


3) Follow the on-screen instructions to proceed to the Activities page.


4) Select "Mood Score" to submit your first daily mood rating.

5) If you already have a Fitbit or Apple Watch you intend to use for the study, go to the "Info" tab and follow the instructions to connect your device. You can expect to receive your $50 Amazon code via email within 1-2 weeks.

Salivary DNA kits and Fitbits (if applicable) will be mailed within 2-4 weeks.


Srijan Sen MD PhD
Frances and Kenneth Eisenberg Professor of Depression and Neurosciences
University of Michigan School of Medicine