Addressing stress among medical students and professionals: Strategies for optimizing student health and success


Mrinal Mugdh Varma

Background: Medical students throughout the world are subjected to high rates of occupational stressors. In addition, in the developing world there is a shortage of mental health providers and widespread social stigma of mental disorders, which may prevent individuals suffering from stress induced disorders from getting the treatment they need. Policy changes can have broad impact in helping people cope with occupational stress, potentially preventing mental health issues. Objectives: This study aimed to examine stress in a group of undergraduate and graduate medical students at a college of medicine in India and make policy recommendations based on findings. Methods: This study adapted a questionnaire and administered it to a sample of medical students India. Results: Participants reported many somatic and cognitive stress symptoms. A large portion of stress appears to be related to the field of medicine. Conclusions: The large percentage of medical students suffering from stress suggest an acute need for adoption of policies that close the gaps in access to mental, emotional, and behavioral health care through appropriate screening tools, referrals, interventions, and support services.