Does Building a Community Promote Wellbeing within an Undergraduate Medical Education Centre?
by Lowri Bowen
Medical Education has been shown to have a negative effect on students’ wellbeing.(1) Not only is there a higher prevalence of mental health conditions amongst these students but they are also less likely to seek support if required.(2,3) A ‘wellbeing toolkit’ was introduced at Gloucestershire Academy with the aim to build our community and review its impact upon our students’ overall wellbeing.
Over 70 students engaged with the wellbeing toolkit during their clinical placements.
Fifth year questionnaire results showed that 100% either agreed or strongly agreed that a sense of community was important to them, with 77% agreeing or strongly agreeing that they had felt part of the Gloucestershire community during their placement. 100% of the students questioned felt that the toolkit had contributed to their overall wellbeing and went onto report that the toolkit ‘made you feel more connected with everyone’ and ‘part of a team’. Second year student’s results showed 100% responding felt supported whilst on placement and felt the toolkit promoted their overall wellbeing. Some reported that they ‘hadn’t felt stressed about anything’ and others felt that it was ‘a good opportunity to meet students from older years’. Focus group discussions found themes of familiarity, environment and fear of missing out.
This ‘wellbeing toolkit’ has positively contributed to our students’ experience whilst on placement in Gloucestershire. We hope that this straightforward intervention to create a sense of community within Gloucestershire Academy will be transferable to other trusts. Our students are more equipped to seek support, enjoy their placement and maximise their educational experience as a result.
- Cohen D, Winstanley S, Palmer P, Allen J, Howells S, Greene G, et al. Factors that impact on medical student wellbeing – Perspectives of Risk. June 2013. Cardiff University.
- Yoesof M, Baba A. The impact of medical education psychological health of medical students. A cohort study. Psychology health and medicine. 18(4) Nov.2012
- Peters D, Horn C, Gishen F. Ensuring our future Doctors are resilient. BMJ. 2018;362