Psychological wellbeing, burnout and substance use amongst medical students in New Zealand
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Sarah Marie Farrell, Fiona Moir, Andrew Molodynski & Dinesh Bhugra. Psychological wellbeing, burnout and substance use amongst medical students in New Zealand, International Review of Psychiatry, 2019 31:7-8, 630-636
Medical students are thought to have increased pressures in study life beyond that of their peers. This could impact their psychological wellbeing, burnout and substance use, impeding a smooth transition into the health workforce. A cross-sectional electronic survey of one of New Zealand’s two medical schools was undertaken, and students in all years were invited to participate through email. Two hundred and twenty students completed the survey. Forty-six students (21%) reported that they were currently seeing a GP or Allied Healthcare Professional (AHP) for their mental ill-health. Seventy-seven students (35%) reported having taken cannabis during medical school. The number of respondents reaching the threshold for CAGE, and thus demonstrating problem drinking, was 40 (18%). Additionally, burnout levels were scored, with 150 students (68%) classifying as disengaged and 169 (77%) as suffering from exhaustion on the Oldenburg burnout measure. Going forwards, organizational bodies including governments and medical schools should place emphasis on the importance of optimizing medical student wellbeing, including resilience training and improved workforce wellbeing planning, to positively impact not just medical students as they progress to doctors, but for patients, and the healthcare system as a whole.