Student Support

Do FOM students need an eBuddy?


This is a third year student project which ran during the 2015-2016 academic year.

Background

It is evident more than ever that stress and burnout are likely problems for health professionals and medical students. NHS England stated:

  • The NHS treats around one million people every 36 hours
  • Hospital treatment for over 75s has increased by 65% over the past decade and someone over 85 is now 25 times for likely to spend time in hospital that those under 65
  • Modelling shows that continuing with the current model of care will lead to a funding gap of around thirty-billion between 2013/14 and 2020/21.

This highlights the huge pressure doctors and students are facing. For this reason, it is imperative to learn how to combat/manage stress throughout their careers. Many studies deduce a heavy workload, examinations, peer competition, debt and clinical performance to be significant causes of stress and anxiety among medical students. Many students/doctors are reluctant to seek help due to career implications, professional integrity, and the stigmatisation associated with mental illness.

It has become apparent that training is needed to teach students about the different emotional responses, by both doctors and patients, and their consequences. Orientation programmes, which provide exposure to clinical environments and the different types of difficulties faced by junior doctors, are needed to support the transition from medical school to junior doctor training. There is a gap in the curriculum regarding identification of specific stressors that affect well-being. It would be helpful if coping strategies promoting awareness of stress and its’ consequences be developed and incorporated into medical education and student counselling services.

Key Research Questions

Investigating current resources available for students managing problems during medical school and offering advice and suggestions regarding the possible creation of an elearning resource to help them access support more easily. The research questions are:

1. What do students find difficult/stressful during their years at medical school?
2. What current services are in place at Southampton University (within the medical school and the main student union)?
3. Have students learnt how to manage stress?
4. What can be done to reduce stress levels using students coping mechanisms in addition to using services?

References

Will appear here soon

Access the project in MedShare