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Article

“Medical Student Syndrome”—A Myth or a Real Disease Entity? Cross-Sectional Study of Medical Students of the Medical University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland

1
Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Faculty of Medical Sciences in Katowice, Students’ Scientific Association, Medical University of Silesia, 40-635 Katowice, Poland
2
Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 0SZ, UK
3
Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Faculty of Medical Sciences in Katowice, Medical University of Silesia, 40-635 Katowice, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9884; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189884
Received: 31 July 2021 / Revised: 9 September 2021 / Accepted: 15 September 2021 / Published: 19 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue University Students' Health and Academic Achievement)
The description of Medical Student Syndrome is based on the assumption that inexperienced medical students are prone to develop a pathological fear of medical conditions they are taught about. The aim of this study is to examine the sample of students (medical and non-medical) in order to assess and compare their level of hypochondriacal attitudes and health-related anxiety. We also examined other factors which might have had an influence on hypochondria and nosophobia attitudes among students. Methods: The study was conducted in two groups of students: 313 medical students at the Medical University of Silesia and 293 students at non-medical universities in Katowice, Poland. The study used the medical student syndrome self-explanatory questionnaire constructed for the study, taking into account the specificity of the group and the research problem. The research questionnaire was completed in an online survey by 606 students. Results: The results of the study showed that medical students obtained the same scores on a nosophobic scale as the non-medical students (p = 0.5). The analysis of hypochondriacal behavior showed significantly higher results in the non-medical student group (p = 0.02). In the entire study group, females and participants with mental disorders obtained higher scores in relation to nosophobia. Symptoms of depression and anxiety were more common in the group of medical students. Conclusions: Medical studies are not a risk factor for the occurrence of health anxiety and hypochondrial attitudes. Such factors are female gender and having a mental illness. View Full-Text
Keywords: hypochondria symptoms; nosophobia symptoms; medical students hypochondria symptoms; nosophobia symptoms; medical students
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MDPI and ACS Style

Szczurek, K.; Furgał, N.; Szczepanek, D.; Zaman, R.; Krysta, K.; Krzystanek, M. “Medical Student Syndrome”—A Myth or a Real Disease Entity? Cross-Sectional Study of Medical Students of the Medical University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 9884. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189884

AMA Style

Szczurek K, Furgał N, Szczepanek D, Zaman R, Krysta K, Krzystanek M. “Medical Student Syndrome”—A Myth or a Real Disease Entity? Cross-Sectional Study of Medical Students of the Medical University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(18):9884. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189884

Chicago/Turabian Style

Szczurek, Katarzyna, Natalia Furgał, Dawid Szczepanek, Rashid Zaman, Krzysztof Krysta, and Marek Krzystanek. 2021. "“Medical Student Syndrome”—A Myth or a Real Disease Entity? Cross-Sectional Study of Medical Students of the Medical University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 18: 9884. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189884

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