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Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(2), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5020056

Exploring Shyness among Veterinary Medical Students: Implications for Mental and Social Wellness

1
Department of Clinical Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27607, USA
2
Office of Academic Affairs, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27607, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 April 2018 / Revised: 10 June 2018 / Accepted: 13 June 2018 / Published: 15 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Educating the Future of Veterinary Science and Medicine)
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Abstract

Background: Shyness is defined as “the tendency to feel awkward, worried or tense during social encounters, especially with unfamiliar people.” While shyness is not necessarily a social disorder, extreme cases of shyness may classify as a social phobia and require medical treatment. Extant research has noted shyness may be correlated with social problems that could be detrimental to one’s health, career, and social relationships. This exploratory study examined the prevalence, source, and nature of shyness among incoming Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program students at one veterinary medical school. Methods: One hundred first-year DVM program students were administered a modified version of the Survey on Shyness. Results: Results indicate most students (85%) self-identified as at least a little shy, a figure that is believed to be significantly higher than national population norms in the United States. Students attributed the primary source of shyness to personal fears and insecurities. Students reported frequent feelings of shyness and generally perceived shyness as an undesirable quality. Students reported that strangers, acquaintances, authority figures, and classmates often make them feel shy. Conclusions: Given the high prevalence of self-reported shyness among veterinary medical students, institutions may wish to include strategies to address shyness as part of a comprehensive wellness program. View Full-Text
Keywords: shyness; wellness; student health; higher education; veterinary medicine; medical education; psychology; social phobia; personality; mental health shyness; wellness; student health; higher education; veterinary medicine; medical education; psychology; social phobia; personality; mental health
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Royal, K.; Hedgpeth, M.-W.; Flammer, K. Exploring Shyness among Veterinary Medical Students: Implications for Mental and Social Wellness. Vet. Sci. 2018, 5, 56.

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