Capstone/Dissertation Title

When the Healer Needs Healing: A Study of Medical School Students and How Universities Answer the Call for Wellbeing


Spring 2023



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Dr. Jennifer Carlson



Burnout and anxiety among medical school students is prevalent and recognized by experts in both the medical and educational setting. This research project aims to answer a primary research question: How do medical school students describe their general state of emotional wellbeing (or emotional state) while pursuing a medical degree? as well as secondary research questions that include What do medical school students' descriptions of emotional wellbeing reveal about the nature and presence of burnout? And, What types of support do medical school students suggest the medical school provide to enhance their emotional wellbeing?

The research methods include a secondary analysis of a 2016 - 2019 survey created by medical school administrators for students to complete. The response outcome from the survey are included in this study as well as a series of qualitative interviews with current medical school students. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed to reveal a deeper understanding of the student experience. The key findings included a need to streamline administrative processes as well as curricular changes where self care and stress management are emphasized during the pursuit of a medical degree. These key findings led to recommendations where faculty and administrative leaders could implement topics about how to handle stress into the current curriculum. This study also notes that the recommendations are applicable and appropriate for organizational leaders whether they are in the field of education or otherwise.








School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations

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