Burnout, neurotic symptoms and coping strategies among Polish medical students
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Students’ Scientific Association of Affective Disorders, Jagiellonian University Medical College
Department of Affective Disorders, Chair of Psychiatry, Jagiellonian University Medical College
Submission date: 2015-11-01
Final revision date: 2015-11-03
Acceptance date: 2015-11-03
Publication date: 2016-05-01
Corresponding author
Anna Tereszko   

Students’ Scientific Association of Affective Disorders, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Dietla 21/28, 31-070 Kraków, Poland
Arch Psych Psych 2015;17(4):17-22
Aim of the study:
Symptoms of burnout are found not only after years in medical profession but also in the early stages of career – as early as in medical college. Medical studies are considered one of the most stressful majors leading to early burnout and other related symptoms such as neurotic symptoms. Our aim was to examine this topic by assessing burnout and neurotic symptoms as well as strategies of coping with stress felt during each year of studies.

Subject or material and methods:
We used web-based questionnaire, consisting of MBI-SS, CISS and Symptom checklist S-III and invited medical students of each year of 6-years medical course to fill it online. Questionnaire was filled by 781 students in total.

Statistical analysis revealed interesting pattern of symptoms severity present in students, with its highest scores at the beginning as well as the end of medical course and lowest score during 3rd year of studies. This pattern was clearly visible for MBI-SS Exhaustion, and somewhat less pronounced for MBI-SS Cynicism and S-III score, where decrease of symptoms was the only significant change. Coping strategies seemed to be similar for all medical students with higher score for Distraction scale on 3rd year compared with 2nd one.

These results, however unexpected, seem to be consistent with available literature, emphasizing higher amount of stress felt during great changes regarding expectations for the beginning student and soon-to-be doctors.

Results prompt to reflect on ways of countering emerging symptoms of burnout not only in the experienced students, but among those starting college.

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