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Medical Students- Health Worse Than Patients

poor health Kenmore dentist
Published By Dr. Rachel Hall at 20 May, 2011

Doctors With Poor Health As Your Role Model!?

Australian Medical Association admits that the medical’s student’s health is worse than the average population!

The AMSA has launched a wellbeing program across Australia to teach our medical students to stay healthy after it has been found that most medical students are suffering from poor health.

“The Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) has released a wellbeing guide to assist medical students in maintaining their health and wellbeing throughout their time at medical school.

The guide – Keeping Your Grass Greener – was developed in conjunction with the New Zealand Medical Students’ Association (NZMSA) and is a major outcome of AMSA’s ongoing focus on medical student wellbeing. The AMSA said that it was critical that students had access to information and resources to help them better manage and respond to study, work and life stressors.

Healthy Doctors Have. Healthier Patients

It is well know that, as medical students progress through medical school, they begin to exhibit lower psychological wellbeing than age-matched peers and the general population. An AMSA survey has suggested that almost 50 per cent of medical students believe there is a stigma associated with experiencing stress and distress and only half had received formal teaching on wellbeing.

Health and Wellbeing Programs

“Keeping Your Grass Greener” aims to get students thinking and talking about their own health and wellbeing. The guide brings together advice from a wide range of experts in the field, on topics including stress management, mental resilience and financial planning. By being aware of the potential issues that can arise, and how to seek help, students can ensure they are equipped to deal with the demands of medical school and their future careers as doctors.

The guide will be distributed to Australian and New Zealand medical students.”

Stress In Medicine and Dentistry

After personally spending 6 years at Dental School and having many medical students as friends I say this is a welcome step but one that is long overdue. There has for a long time at medical and dental schools (and I think we should include University here) been a culture of massive alcohol, caffeine, cigarette and sugar consumption as way to just to get by.

Many students are stressed, exhausted, totally burnt out and overwhelmed by the work load and pressures that they face. I can remember a colleague of mine ending up in hospital because he had taken a massive amount of caffeine tablets to help him stay awake night after night so he could study for his upcoming exams. . [Now it is worse with caffeine drinks like V and Red Bull and stories of students getting through Uni on speed!!]

I for my part resorted to biscuits, potato chips, doughnuts, pastries, pizza, coffee (even though I hated the taste) and alcohol as I was exhausted and stressed to the max by the constant workload, pressure to do well and being on clinic seeing patients and feeling totally out of my depth.

We were never given any support or guidance yet alone wellbeing advice and if you complained the bog standard reply was “if you can’t handle it here (at Dental school) then you’ll never make it in the real world” so much for compassion and understanding from professions that are supposed to care!

Now remember these medical students are the people being trained to teach and guide you how to care for yourself….what hope do with have when our doctors and healthcare providers don’t even know how to care for themself.

Well done to the AMSA it is about time someone admitted what is really going on and started to take the steps to support our future Doctors.

  • Dr. Rachel Hall

    Dr. Rachel Hall

    Rachel is the founder and principal dentist at Evolve Dental Healing with over 30 years experience, practising holistically since 2001. Not your typical dentist, Rachel is a passionate opinion leader, challenging convention to empower people to make better dental and health choices, helping thousands to have healthy natural smiles. A respected writer and presenter on holistic dentistry, health and wellness it is Rachel’s mission to revolutionise the way people look at their dental health.

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