Relationships: Impact on Medical Students
Objective: To determine whether being involved in a romantic relationship has a negative impact on the medical school experience.
Materials and Methods: The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) Omnibus Survey served as the platform for our study. Survey questions were created to encompass the medical school experiences pertaining to relationship status, academic performance, satisfaction with academic performance, stress levels, preparedness for examinations, sleep ritual consistency and loneliness. The anonymous survey was administered to first and second year medical students at TTUHSC. Respondents were grouped into two groups: Single and relationship. Mean ranks from the nonparametric Mann Whitney U test were used to analyze ordinal responses from two independent groups.
Results: Students in the ‘relationship’ group had a statistically significant decrease in loneliness as well as a perception of decreased stress when compared to the ‘single’ group. No differences were found in all other topics surveyed.
Conclusion: This study suggests that committed relationships do not negatively affect the medical school experience.
Relevance: Limited data is available to current and incoming medical students regarding the dynamics of a committed relationship during medical school. We propose that medical schools create a platform which allows for their current students in relationships to share their experiences and to address concerns that incoming students may have regarding relationships in medical school.
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