Relationships: Impact on Medical Students

Andrew Hudson




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. 

Full Text:



Vitaliano PP, Russo J, Carr, JE, Heerwagen JH. Medical school pressures and their relationship to anxiety. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. 1984;172(12):730-736.

Moffat KJ, McConnachie A, Ross S, Morrison JM. First year medical student stress and coping in a problem-based learning medical curriculum. Medical Education. 2004;38(5):482-491.

Tempski P, Bellodi PL, Paro HB, Enns SC, Martins MA, Schraiber LB. (2012). What do medical students think about their quality of life? A qualitative study. BioMed Central Medical Education. 2012;12:106.

Murray S. The Quest for Conviction: Motivated Cognition in Romantic Relationships. Psychological Inquiry. 1999;10:23-34.

Lui BL. The Impact of Interpersonal Stress in Romantic Relationships on College Students’ Mental Health and Academic Performance [Master’s Thesis]. Austin, TX: The University of Texas; 2016.

Arriaga XB. (2001). The ups and downs of dating: fluctuations in satisfaction in newly formed romantic relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 2001;80(5):754-765.

Simon RW, Barrett AE. Nonmarital romantic relationships and mental health in early adulthood: does the association differ for women and men? Journal of Health and Social Behavior. 2010;51(2):168-182.

Field T, Diego M, Pelaez M, Deeds O, Delgado J. Breakup distress and loss of intimacy in university students. Psychology. 2010;1(3):173-177.

Michel R, Randic N. Hook-up or healthy relationship? Counseling student partnering through the college years. In S. Degges-White & C. Borzumato- Gainey, eds. College Student Mental Health Counseling: A Developmental Approach. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company; 2014:113-131.

Luca SD, Yan Y, Lytle M, Brownson C. The Associations of Race/Ethnicity and Suicidal Ideation among College Students: A Latent Class Analysis Examining Precipitating Events and Disclosure Patterns. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. 2014;44(4):444-456.

Field T, Diego M, Pelaez M, Deeds O, Delgado J. Breakup effects on university students’ perceived academic performance. College Student Journal. 2012;46(3):615-619.

Simon VA, Aikins JW, Prinstein MJ. (2012). Romantic partner selection and socialization during early adolescence. Child Development. 2008;79(6):1676-1692.


  • There are currently no refbacks.



Editorial Board
Advisory Board
Marketing Committee
Become a Reviewer
Join the Editorial Team
Journal Sponsors


Peer Review Process
Publication Ethics
Submission Eligibility
Copyright Notice
Privacy Statement

Author Guidelines

AMA Style Guidelines
Basic Science
Clinical Research
Case Reports

Quick Links

New Issue Alert
Faculty Perspectives
Support Us
Contact Us



ISSN: 2333-4096