University of Pittsburgh


Student Health Advocacy Resource Program (SHARP)

Medical school is stressful, as is the work of a physician. A wide range of problems can undermine a medical student's effectiveness. Such health concerns may include alcoholism, drug dependence, affective disorders such as depression or mood swings, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, sexual boundary problems, and cognitive impairment. The Student Health Advocacy Resource Program (SHARP) exists to provide compassion and confidentiality in a support, referral, and advocacy service for students with substance abuse or mental health problems so that they can continue their education and training. In addition, the program seeks to protect patients and others from the harm that such impairments may cause.

SHARP is comprised of medical students and faculty members. Student representatives are volunteers chosen from each medical school class to serve for the four years in which they are enrolled in medical school. Faculty members are selected who have demonstrated concern and experience in counseling students. All members receive training by the Physician's Health Programs (PHP), a confidential support and advocacy program for physicians and medical students.