Coping with medical school: an interpretive phenomenological study

Shaw, Sebastian C K and Anderson, John L (2021) Coping with medical school: an interpretive phenomenological study. The Qualitative Report, 26 (6). a10 1864-1880. ISSN 1052-0147

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Anecdotal evidence suggested that hopelessness and helplessness (HH) were often reported by undergraduate medical students. It is known that medical students are more susceptible to high levels of stress and depression than other student groups. There is currently concern about suicide rates in students and high drop-out rates in junior doctors. But what can be said of HH within this population? This study was aimed at eliciting medical students’ experiences of HH. An interpretive phenomenological approach was adopted. Participants were recruited from a single medical school. Loosely structured, audio-recorded interviews were carried out. Recordings were then transcribed verbatim, then underwent an interpretive phenomenological analysis. Three participants were recruited. Their stories report some devastating experiences – ranging from social isolation to homelessness and suicidal ideation. Our cases complement the existing literature. Awareness of the issues raised in these cases may help medical educators to better understand and support others in similar situations. These may also benefit those experiencing HH themselves. We hope that this exploratory project paves the way to further study.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Brighton and Sussex Medical School
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2021 07:52
Last Modified: 26 Nov 2021 13:29

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