Wellbeing pp 173-183 | Cite as

Wellbeing Considerations for Medical Students

  • Brittany N. Hasty
  • James N. LauEmail author
Part of the Success in Academic Surgery book series (SIAS)


Undergraduate medical education traditionally consists of classroom-based and patient-centered education. For medical students in their preclinical years, time is spent learning the fundamentals of disease pathophysiology and treatment, preparing for the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) Step 1, and balancing a life outside of the classroom. In their clinical years, students spend time rotating through a number of different specialties (clerkships), preparing for the USMLE Step 2, applying for residency, and traveling for residency interviews. What integrates all of these milestones through medical school is the learning environment. However, in a recent Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) 2018 Graduation Questionnaire (GQ), 42% of graduating medical students reported experiencing mistreatment (Association of American Medical Colleges. Medical School Graduation Questionnaire 2018 All Schools Summary Report, 2018). In addition, a recent systematic review determined that 46% of graduating North American medical students are suffering from burnout (Ishak et al., Clin Teach 10:242–5, 2013). As a result, increasing numbers of medical students are depressed, drinking for escape, experiencing post-traumatic stress symptoms, and having decreased confidence in clinical skills (Cook et al., Acad Med 89:749–54, 2014; Heru et al., Acad Psychiatry 33:302–6, 2009; Schuchert, Acad Med 73:907–9, 1998; Richman et al., JAMA 267:692–4; 1992). In order to remedy this, as a medical community we must be committed to validating medical students in their roles as a student, a member of our medical teams, and as an individual on their journey to becoming a physician (Brandford et al., Am J Surg 215:227–32, 2017).


Learning environment Medical student mistreatment Burnout Wellbeing Clerkships 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Loyola University Chicago School of MedicineMaywoodUSA
  2. 2.Stanford School of MedicineStanfordUSA

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