The Medical Student Well-Being Index has been developed to assist prospective students in evaluating their mental and physical well-being. This tool was developed by the College of Medical Education and is available to all enrolled students. The Medical Student Well-Being Index, which was developed by the National Board for Medical Examiners (NBME), is an online tool utilized to assess multiple aspects of discomfort among Brody recent college medical education graduates in just a matter of short questions. Students can input their answers to different questions in order to rate how they are feeling on a daily basis. The results are displayed immediately and are also able to be sorted out and rated per topic. The index has been proven to help improve overall psychological wellness among recent college graduate students.
An overall reflection of how a student’s health is doing is the primary focus of this tool. Questions range from how many sleepovers per week do you attend versus how many times you have made New Year’s resolutions, your level of fitness, your interest in music or other forms of entertainment and much more. The greater the number of answers provided, the higher a student’s overall well-being. Students are also asked if they smoke, how many drinks are consumed during the day versus how many times you drink alcohol. The Medical Student Well-Being Index can also be utilized as a behavioral inventory and is able to provide additional insight into a potential drug problem for a future practicing doctor.
As more colleges and universities begin to offer online programs in healthcare, including the first online M.D. degree program, the need for quality, useful tools to assess the well-being of future medical students is also on the rise. The M SWB – Medical Student Well-Being Index was developed to help provide information to future medical school applicants on how they are currently faring in terms of their overall well-being. The index is broken down into three sections to ensure that all aspects of wellness are covered.
Burnout – No matter how well medical students may be preparing for their exams and getting an overall grade point average, it is easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment and end up overexerting oneself. The M SWB intends to reduce the number of “burnout” days that medical students’ experience by tracking specific types of situations. This includes days when work deadlines loom large, stressful discussions occur with difficult patients, or when there is limited sleep available for the entire team. The burnout question on the M SWB is formulated so that each individual question corresponds to a certain category and can be tracked individually. In addition to reducing the amount of daily burnout situations that occur, the M SWB team hopes that the index will provide medical school applicants with an increased understanding of their own personal strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of their peers. By doing this, medical school applicants will have greater confidence in their ability to stay focused and motivated in the face of great demands.
Mental Health – The M SWB also tracks the amount of mental health stress that is experienced by medical students. Like physical health issues, many of the daily mental challenges that students are faced with can be traced back to the amount of daily pressure they are under. Many medical students report feeling pressured by their professors, administrative assistants, and department supervisors. For this reason, the use of the M SWB is designed to reduce stress levels and increase mental health wellness. The index can be broken down into four categories, each targeting a specific mental health need that medical education must address.
Mental Health: The third section of the M SWB measures the mental health of a medical student as opposed to the overall wellness of the person. This section focuses on the number of negative thoughts that are being experienced by the individual. Additionally, this section asks about the frequency of negative thoughts, as well as whether or not the patient is experiencing any emotional stress. Students are asked about their feelings and behaviors, as well as how their mental health has changed over the course of the student’s medical education. This section is used to help medical schools develop an intervention plan for dealing with any problems that might arise.
Medical School Staff-Outcome: The fourth section of the M SWB measures the performance of the medical school staff. The focus of the evaluation is to identify areas where improvements can be made in order to enhance the wellness and healthiness of the entire staff. Many medical students report being subjected to various forms of harassment from other students, as well as some staff members. The purpose of the evaluation is to use this information to create a culture of wellness at the medical school.
Burnout: One of the most common complaints among medical students is feeling overwhelmed and burnt out after weeks or months of intense studying and intense work. Achieving the degree that they are working toward causes stress to individuals who may not be able to handle the amount of work that they experience. Medical school often requires students to work extremely long hours and the high amount of concentration required leaves little time for rest and relaxation. The Burnout Index can be used to measure and monitor the extent of the medical student well-being after completing their education.