EdD Doctor of Education
Educational Services and Leadership
College of Education
Johnson, Ane Turner
Committee Member 1
Committee Member 2
burnout, Medical education, Medical Student, Stress, USMLE, wellness
Medical students--Health; Medical students--Examinations
Research indicates that medical students experience unusually high levels of stress, anxiety, depression, and loss of empathy while in medical school. As the number of medical students rises and residency positions remain stagnant, the USMLE receives greater emphasis as a barometer to determine residency placement and future career paths thereby increasing levels of stress among students. Stress is associated with diminished self-care, potentially leading to a negative impact on well-being. This ethnographic, qualitative study sought to examine the extent to which the anticipation of, preparation for, and implications of the USMLE contribute to medical student stress, wellness, and self-care. Through forty-four interviews combined with immersed observation, and multiple brief interactions with medical students, faculty, and staff at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, the impact of the USMLE on the health and well being of medical students was assessed. Results clearly indicated that the USMLE adversely affects medical student wellness, particularly depleting physical, social, and psychological well-being. While a few students were able to successfully manage through the exam preparation, the vast majority decreased or depleted their coping reservoir over the course of USMLE preparation exhibiting emotional, social, and physical ramifications.
Vanston, Patricia Davis, "The United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) and medical student wellness: an ethnographic qualitative study at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University" (2016). Theses and Dissertations. 2150.