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.
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 taking a very different approach to exploring the issue of medical student stress. We want to use your experience and expertise to calibrate common experiences; how stressful they are; and what implications they have for medical student identity. We have developed a number of stressful “scenarios” based on the medical education stress literature.
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.
We have completed a preliminary version of this study locally in St Andrews and Dundee (Scotland) to test the methodology and suitability of our approach. This seems to have worked well and we had good feedback from medical student participants in the preliminary study. We are planning to widen the study to get input from medical students in multiple countries and systems.
The new study will launch next year.
Dr Ken Mavor