Math & Science Department (SURI)

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Medical students are adversely affected by the rigorous curriculum and high demands of medical school causing them to experience symptoms like burnout.1 Burnout is defined as a syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a sense of low personal accomplishment that leads to decreased effectiveness at work.2

What about Physician Assistants (PAs)? There has been minimal research on students going through PA programs. PAs are required to learn a vast amount of knowledge in a compressed 2 year program. Hernandez and his team (2010) examined the different levels of stress, depression and medical symptoms between nursing students, medical students and physician assistant students. Hernandez and his team found that the physician assistant students reported the highest levels of depression and medical symptoms.

Further research on the wellness of PA students is necessary to produce the best possible learning environment because PA students are at risk for serious physical, emotional and mental problems.

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