For the purposes of this literature search, the PubMed database that is available through the web Services was utilized. The focus of the research was stress and fatigue among medical students and the relationship between stress and depression. For this reason, the following five search terms were used: medical students, stress, fatigue, depression, burnout. Because of using these 4 search terms, 11 articles were found. The following provides a summary of information contained in those articles.
Stress is a major issue among health care providers around the world. It affects their ability to provide care to those in need but affecting mostly medical students which leads them to fatigue. This problem really puts a lot of pressure on medical students leading to burnout which may result in depression. Therefore, there should be a mechanism to provide a better quality of life for medical students.
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The prevalence of various forms of distress have not been thoroughly studied among medical students. So, a survey was conducted in the united states to evaluate stress, burnout, depression, fatigue and other forms of stress in seven medical schools. Almost all the medical students have had some sort of distress in their academic life. As a result of that, their life quality will mostly be poorer than normal students. The severity of distress depends on how many stressors are present in students’ life. Based on the survey, all forms of distress were independently associated with suicidal ideation or serious thoughts of dropping out on multivariable analysis 1.
There are a lot of various factors that can affect medical students some of which are self-related others are environmental-related. From my point of view, there are mainly two types of students. First, are the ones who are able to cope with stress and that is due to some reasons. One, they have a strong social environment where they get the support they need to pass through obstacles and get emotional care. Second, they do not need to take part time jobs in order to get money as their parents already provide them enough money. Last but not least, they have not been through serious life stressing situation as maybe losing one or both of their parents or family members which will contribute to their stability of life and not experiencing burnout. While on the other hand, there are the opposite kind of students where they do not have stable social environments, which may lead to a rough stressful life. And also, they may need to manage their own selves in order to get money and that can be very stressful. Furthermore, they would be more likely to experience fatigue and have lower quality of life.
Similar to what is written there was a study done in five institutions in the united states where they have done surveys to this matter to 1321 medical students. Results shown that, resilient students were less likely to experience depression, had a higher quality of life, were less likely to be employed, had experienced fewer stressful life events, reported higher levels of social support, perceived their learning climate more positively and experienced less stress and fatigue 2.
1. Dyrbye LN, Harper W, Durning SJ, Moutier C, Thomas MR, Massie Jr, et al. Patterns of distress in US medical students. Internet. Medical teacher. U.S. National Library of Medicine;
2. Dyrbye LN, Power DV, Massie FS, Eacker A, Harper W, Thomas MR, et al. Factors associated with resilience to and recovery from burnout: a prospective, multi-institutional study of US medical students. Internet. Medical education. U.S. National Library of Medicine; 2010