Medical Science Educator

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 121–128 | Cite as

A Survey of Medical Student Gambling and Implications for Medical School Educators and Program Development

  • Michael G. Kavan
  • Gary H. Westerman
  • Gary N. Elsasser
  • Paul D. Turner
Original Research


In the United States, 82% of adults admit to gambling over the past year. Approximately 2.3% of people are considered to be problematic gamblers and 0.6% are considered to have pathological gambling problems. As many as 87% of college students admit to gambling over the past 12 months with up to 9% of men and 2% of women college students considered to be probable pathological gamblers. To date, no studies have been published regarding medical student gambling and its relationship to demographic variables, academics, socializing, and various risk factors. This study surveyed medical students on the prevalence of gambling, gambling behavior, problematic gambling, the relationship between gambling and academic and social issues, and other risky behaviors. Survey results found that 61% of medical students admitted to gambling over the past year. Overall, 13.6% of students who gambled reported at least one symptom or behavior related to problem gambling and less than one percent of students reported pathological gambling. Few students reported that gambling negatively impacted academics or relationships. In general, medical students reported high rates of alcohol use. Implications for medical educators and administration are discussed within the article.


Medical students gambling 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael G. Kavan
    • 1
  • Gary H. Westerman
    • 2
  • Gary N. Elsasser
    • 3
  • Paul D. Turner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Family MedicineCreighton University School of MedicineOmahaUSA
  2. 2.Creighton University School of DentistryOmahaUSA
  3. 3.Creighton University School of Pharmacy and Allied Health ProfessionsOmahaUSA

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