Life in a medical school is more challenging, when compared to other disciplines like arts and engineering. The innate nature of the medical curriculum and the demands of the profession have created extensive pressure on its students, leading to the prevalence of high stress levels and stress related disorders in them. The mental health of future doctors is very important for quality patient care. Hence it is high time for medical institutions to design interventions to mitigate this situation. A significant amount of research has gone into identifying the predominant stressors of medical education and the prevailing stress levels amongst medical students. However, there is dearth in research efforts that explicitly explain: the manifestation of stressors in different stages of medical education; coping strategies of students; and the kind of support required by the students to cope up with these challenges. Hence this study uses a phenomenological approach to understand the phenomenon of stress amongst medical students of a private medical college in South India. The study found that academic pressure, homesickness, faculty and institution related factors challenge the students. It was also found that the students require support to handle these challenges. These findings have interesting and important implications for institutions and policy makers, with respect to designing interventions to provide a congenial learning environment for our future doctors.
Phenomenology, Medical Students, Challenges
The authors thank the University Grants Commission (UGC) for funding this project under Research Award Scheme.
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Recommended APA Citation
Deepa, R., & Panicker, A. S. (2016). A Phenomenological Approach to Understand the Challenges Faced by Medical Students. The Qualitative Report, 21(3), 584-602. Retrieved from http://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol21/iss3/11