Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 89–91 | Cite as

The Impact of Medical School on Student Mental Health

  • Lisa MacLeanEmail author
  • Jason Booza
  • Richard Balon
In Brief Report

The pace of medical school is extremely rigorous. Students commonly report high stress due to feelings of lack of control, problems without solutions, and exposure to death and dying for the first time. Medical student’s tendency to be a perfectionist and their struggle to re-identify as patients only add to this stress. Stress has negative physiological and psychological effects on individuals which could result in poor mental health, substance use, and the need to develop healthy coping strategies. Poor mental health can also lead to other negative outcomes including medical school dropout [1] and suicidal ideation and burnout [2]. Previous studies show that students begin medical school with similar rates of depression as their non-medical peers [3, 4]. However, various studies suggest that the mental health of students worsens throughout medical school [3, 5].

Other studies have reflected on factors which impact student success, such as the use of alcohol and illicit substances [6]...


Cocaine Medical Student Suicidal Ideation Emotional Exhaustion Poor Mental Health 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wayne State UniversityDetroitUSA

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