“Stress Among Medical Saudi Students…” by Rahman

Introduction

Many medical students face various concerns during their transformation from novice students to professional and well-qualified physicians. As a result, because of different stress factors, the academic burden can adversely affect students’ performance and often leads to substance abuse, mental problems, and suicide. This paper aims to review the article “Stress among medical Saudi students at college of medicine, King Faisal University” by Rahman et al. (1) to explore the issue of chronic stress among medical students.

Summary of the Article

For recent several decades, stress among university students has become one of the most significant problems, attracting the increasing attention of many scholars and psychologists. In this regard, medical students fall into the primary vulnerable category of those predisposed to experiencing chronic depression. According to study (1), the main stress factors include a lack of relaxation time, the complexity and load of learning material, additional work, and repeated summative examinations. Furthermore, the research (1) revealed that a high level of stress is promoted by familial aspects, such as parents’ expectations regarding getting good marks and families’ acceptance of students’ career choices.

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The given survey study was performed at the Faculty of Medicine, King Faisal University, among Saudi first-year, third-year, fifth-year, and sixth-year medical students. In particular, the survey involved 244 male and female participants, each of whom was given a self-administered questionnaire. The Faculty of Medicine administration permitted conducting a questionnaire, while all participants provided written consent with a confidentiality guarantee. The mean score for all risk factors was used to evaluate stress. Namely, all respondents below the mean score were regarded as not stressed students, whereas those above the mean score were stressed. Altogether, the study’s results disclosed that stress occurred in 46.7 percent of female students and 53.3 percent of males (1). It is worth noting that according to the survey, individuals who live with their families are less depressed than those whole reside alone. Besides, the most influential stress contributors are failures in exams, concerns about career, and the absence of support or friends to talk about disturbing problems.

Discussion

The given study significantly contributed to exploring the issue of stress among medical students by determining its occurrence and principal sources, including academic overload and psychosocial and familial factors. Specifically, complicated exam questions and related curriculum, along with the deficit of studying time, are among the primary causes of excessive stress. These findings have been supported by research (2), also conducted in Saudi Arabia, concluding that the main stressors were academic-related. Familial factors, such as high parents’ expectation of students’ performance and their acceptance of students’ career preferences, also play a notable role in depression prevalence.

Moreover, the study found that recreational activities and especially the support of friends or relatives with whom students may discuss disturbing problems can alleviate depression and related factors. The latter is consistent with another research (3) performed in Saudi Arabia, which indicated that poor friend support and social communication and over-strict parental restrictions are significant predictors for elevated perceived stress. It is worth noting that concerning the study’s limitations, authors should increase their sample size and involve students of different races and from various universities and countries.

Conclusion

In summary, the paper has reviewed the article “Stress among medical Saudi students at college of medicine, King Faisal University” by Rahman et al. to explore the issue of chronic stress among medical students. The discussed topic assumes considerable and growing significance among teachers, scholars, psychologists, and studies. Thus, the study’s findings will help educational establishments organize and prepare academic curriculum, related activates, and exams according to students’ capacities and needs to prevent stress cases and improve their performance. It is worth noting that the study should more in-depth elaborate on the outcomes of the stress, namely increased suicide inclination, substance abuse, and antisocial behavior.

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References

  1. Rahman, AA, Al Hashim, BN, Al Hiji, NK, Al-Abbad, Z. Stress among medical Saudi students at college of medicine, King Faisal University. Journal of Preventive Medicine and Hygiene. 2013, 54(4): 195-199.
  2. Gazzaz, Z, Baig, M, Al Alhendi, B., Al Suliman, M., Al Alhendi, AS, Al-Grad, MSH., et al. Perceived stress, reasons for and sources of stress among medical students at Rabigh Medical College, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. BMC Medical Education. 2018; 18(1): 2-9.
  3. Sehlo, MG, Al-Zaben, FN, Khalifa, DA, Agabawi, A K, Akel, MS, Nemri, IA, et al. Stress among medical students in a college of medicine in Saudi Arabia: sex differences. Middle East current psychiatry, 2018; 25(4): 150-154.

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