Painting the picture: Australasian medical student views on wellbeing teaching and support services.
Hillis JM., Perry WRG., Carroll EY., Hibble BA., Davies MJ., Yousef J.
OBJECTIVE: To explore medical students' views on support services, stigma, and teaching of wellbeing in light of their experiences of stress and distress. DESIGN, PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING: Quantitative survey of medical students at five universities in Australia and New Zealand in November 2007. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Medical students' experiences of support services, stigma attached to undergoing stress and distress, and teaching of wellbeing. RESULTS: 1328 students completed the survey (26% response rate). Seventy-one per cent of students were aware of support services at their university. Of these, 46% believed the services were adequately promoted, and 49% had either used the services themselves or knew someone who had. Overall, 70% of students had their own general practitioner, but this fell to 45% for international students (P < 0.001). Fifty-five per cent of students believed there was a stigma associated with being a medical student undergoing stress and distress. Fifty-six per cent of students believed they had formal teaching on stress and distress. Students most wanted to learn methods to help somebody else cope and preferred to be taught through formal lectures. CONCLUSION: Medical curricula on wellbeing should include strategies for self-help and giving assistance to others, and aim to decrease stigma. Adequate and well-promoted support services are required to complement this teaching, in particular for international students.