Title

Well-Being in First Year Medical Students

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2015

Abstract

Objective: This study explored the well-being, attitudes toward counseling, willingness to seek counseling, and coping strategies of first year medical students. Gender differences in attitudes toward and willingness to seek counseling were also explored. Methods: One hundred five first year medical students (98 % response rate) were administered a 59-item questionnaire about well-being, attitudes toward counseling, willingness to seek counseling, and coping strategies during the first week of medical school. The data were analyzed with hierarchical regression and multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA). Results: Female medical students were less willing to seek counseling and had more negative attitudes toward counseling compared to male medical students. Most students indicated that they chose not to seek counseling because they did not feel a need for it. Three students reported that stigma prevented them from seeking counseling. Unhealthy coping strategies (denial, self-blame, and substance use) were negatively associated with well-being while healthy coping strategies (active coping, emotional support, and instrumental support) did not correlate with well-being. Conclusions: Medical schools should continue efforts to make counseling accessible. Conversations about counseling may help address the more negative attitudes of female students toward counseling, a finding which merits further investigation given that women typically have more positive attitudes toward counseling than men. Use of unhealthy coping strategies can be addressed in classes, clubs, and by advisors and mentors. Limitations of this study include that only first year medical students were surveyed and that it was a cross sectional study.

DOI

10.1007/s40596-014-0189-5

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