Objectives: To identify the sources of stress among undergraduate students in a medical college.
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Settings: The study was conducted at Army College of Medical Sciences, Delhi Cantt, New Delhi, India.
Materials and methods: Subjects: subjects included second-year medical students (both male and female) enrolled in the college during the year of study. Interventions: a predesigned structured questionnaire was used to collect information regarding the academic and nonacademic sources of stress.
Result: A total of 103 students of the second year were approached; of which 84 consented to take part in this study. The questionnaire included general information of the students including their locality, medium of schooling, and interaction with parents and mentor. The major academic stressors identified were amount of syllabus to learn (42.86%), competition for marks (26.19%), long working hours (22.89%), and frequent examinations (17.07%). Teaching language was not found to be a difficulty for the students. The nonacademic stressors identified were time management (28.57%), decreased recreation period (15.85%), parental expectations (14.29%), stay away from home (13.10%), and health conditions (11.90%). Majority of the students identified food in the mess as a main nonacademic difficulty (33.73%).
Conclusion: This study found that amount of syllabus was a major academic stress, and food in the mess was a major nonacademic stressor. The possible sources of stress found in this study can be a preliminary step toward developing solutions for stress management and stress prevention in medical students which could help in developing a new generation of stress-free doctors capable of effectively providing high-quality medical care to the community at large.
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