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80% Medical Students Feel Low Sense of Personal Achievement, Says New Study

Conversely, only higher perceived stress is associated with feeling a low sense of personal achievement, the study said

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The researcher added that each year of medical school has its own unique and significant stresses that prevent students from ever fully acclimating to the challenge. Wikimedia Commons

Despite the prestige of becoming a physician, 80 per cent of medical students report a low sense of personal achievement, a new study shows.

The researchers are concerned about the role of smartphone addiction in medical students as 22 per cent of participants met the basic score qualifying for smartphone addiction.

For the findings, published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, researchers surveyed 385 first to fourth-year medical students to assess their levels of burnout, a psychological syndrome resulting from prolonged exposure to stressful work.

According to the researchers, burnout has three dimensions: emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation, and low sense of personal achievement.

“That 80 per cent feel a low sense of achievement is a bit ironic, considering that these are all high-performing individuals,” said study lead author Elizabeth Beverly, Associate Professor at Ohio University in the US.

“However, it also makes sense in that they have gone from an environment where they were standouts to one where they are now on an equal academic playing field,” Beverly said.

The researcher added that each year of medical school has its own unique and significant stresses that prevent students from ever fully acclimating to the challenge.

Doctors
The researchers are concerned about the role of smartphone addiction in medical students as 22 per cent of participants met the basic score qualifying for smartphone addiction. Pixabay

In year one, students are overwhelmed by the vast amount of knowledge they have to learn. In year two, they begin studying for board examinations.

Year three sends students on clinical rotations to begin real world application of their knowledge.

Year four is focused on graduation and matching into a residency programme.

According to the study, only 2.3 per cent of participants reported high levels of emotional exhaustion, while 17 per cent reported high levels of depersonalisation, a form of clinical detachment.

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Both of those dimensions of burnout are associated with higher perceived stress, poorer sleep quality and higher smartphone addiction scores.

Conversely, only higher perceived stress is associated with feeling a low sense of personal achievement, the study said. (IANS)

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Medical students highly associated with alcohol abuse

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New Delhi: A team of US researchers has found that medical students, especially who are young, single and under high debt are twice as likely to abuse alcohol than their peers who are not attending medical school.

Burnout factors such as emotional exhaustion or feelings of depersonalization were highly associated with alcohol abuse or dependence among the medical students.

“Our findings clearly show there is reason for concern,” said Liselotte Dyrbye from Mayo Clinic in the US.

“We recommend institutions pursue a multifaceted solution to address related issues with burnout, the cost of medical education and alcohol abuse,” Dyrbye added in the paper published in the journal Academic Medicine.

The researchers surveyed 12,500 medical students and one-third of those responded. Approximately 1,400 of that subgroup experienced clinical alcohol abuse or dependence.

The results indicate three factors that were independently associated — a younger age than most peers in medical school, being unmarried and amount of educational debt.

No statistical difference was found between differing years of medical school or between men and women.

“In our paper we recommend wellness curricula for medical schools, identifying and remediating factors within the learning environment contributing to stress and removal of barriers to mental health services,” added first author Eric Jackson.(IANS)