Stress is a known feature of medical studies as well as medical practice. In much of the literature stress is dealt with in the abstract, simply measuring levels of non-specific stress. Some attempts have been made to document the specific stressors that medical students face such as the MSSQ (Medical Student Stress Questionnaire; Yusoff et al., 2010).
In this project, however, we go beyond documenting the link between stress and (reduced) wellbeing. We argue that some stressful events have particular implications for identity as a medical student, and this can either help or undermine our well-being.
We argue that some stressful events have particular implications for identity as a medical student, and this can either help or undermine our well-being.
We are running a study at the moment aimed at Medical Students and trying to calibrate the nature of a number of common stressors; how stressful that are; and what implications they have for our identity. We have developed a number of stressful “scenarios” based on scales like the MSSQ and the medical education stress literature.more generally.
To keep the questionnaire reasonably short, we present each participant with only a small subset of the scenarios. Over multiple responses we hope to be able to better understand the different identity and well-being implications of a range of stressful events faced by medical students.
How can you help?
If you are a medical student we would be delighted if you would complete the study using the link below. You may also have received an invitation already by email or social media, and we would also be very grateful of you could also pass on that invitation or a link to this page to others you know in medical education. Due to the nature of the design, each questionnaire is kept to a reasonable length but we need a diversity of responses to achieve our goals.
Update April, 2017
We have completed a preliminary version of this study locally at St Andrews/Dundee to test the methodology and suitability of our approach. This seems to have worked well and we already have some interesting preliminary findings We will present some of those findings shortly and then promote an expanded version of the study aimed at a wider sample to expand the value of the study.
Dr Ken Mavor