Health behaviors of medical students decline towards residency: how could we maintain and enhance these behaviors throughout their training

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Abstract

Background: We examined health behaviors and perceptions among medical students and compared them with the results of a previous survey among residents and senior physicians. Methods: This cross–sectional study was performed among second-year medical students (2015–2018) and among physicians (2015) using an online questionnaire. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed. Results: Significantly more physicians perceived their health as bad, compared with students. Half of the residents, compared with one-third of senior physicians and one-fifth of students, reported high emotional stress. Residents reported the worst, and students - the best, eating habits. Logistic regression models demonstrated that lower emotional stress, healthy eating habits, adequate sleep, lower body mass index and not having a regular physician, explained good perceived health. Female gender, being a resident, bad perceived health, unhealthy eating habits, less sleep and not having a regular physician, were correlated with high emotional stress. Conclusions: The healthy lifestyle of medical students declines towards residency. Given the workload and emotional stress of their chosen profession, it is advised that medical school curriculum provide students with measures to help them to adopt healthier lifestyles, allowing students and physicians to be better role models and the healthcare system to perform better.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13
JournalIsrael Journal of Health Policy Research
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Emotional stress
  • Health behaviors
  • Medical students
  • Perceived health
  • Physicians

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