Reassuring the medical students' disease Health related anxiety among medical students

Joseph Azuri*, Nissim Ackshota, Shlomo Vinker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Studying a specific illness could lead medical students to an incorrect interpretation of certain physical symptoms, so that symptoms which were previously considered normal are now regarded as a true sign of an illness. Aim: To examine the appraisal of self-health state, the existing fear of morbidity and the level of health-related anxiety among medical students throughout medical school. Methods: Anonymous questionnaires were distributed to first through sixth year medical students at the Tel-Aviv University Medical School. The questionnaires were distributed to all the students who were present on the study days. Results: We observed a significant rise in the emotionaldistress process with entering the clinical years followed by a significant decrease later on. Similar pattern was seen in health anxiety and in preoccupation with and fear of illness and death. While the perceptualcognitive process increased gradually, there was no change in interference with life scores. Conclusion: "Medical student's disease" should be regarded as a phenomenon depending on the years of learning. By breaking it down into its components, one can better characterize it and predict its onset. By defining it as a normal process, one can assist in guiding medical students to reduce their level of anxiety and distress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e270-e275
JournalMedical Teacher
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2010


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