Stress among Pre-University and Undergraduate Medical Students

<p></p><p>ABSTRACT For years stress has been recognized as a major influence on professional and academic performance and on people’s health. The period leading up to university admission is commonly recognized as a time that causes anxiety, stress and even depression. The causes related to such discomfort in this period are diverse, such as the pressure for success in the exam, family interference and competition. Besides, the medical course is seen as one of the most difficult and laborious because it requires dedication, effort, sacrifice and physical and emotional endurance of the students. Taking into consideration the stressors in student life, this research aimed to evaluate the presence of symptoms of stress among pre-school students and medical students in the city of Montes Claros (MG), by means of questionnaire forms investigating socio demographic factors and phases of stress (Inventory of Symptoms of Stress for Adults of Lipp). It was found from the statistical analysis that female pre-university students (p<0.001), and those with more than three years of study(p=0.012) and presenting headaches (p=0.010) displayed advanced stages of stress. Among the medical students, significant association was only observed between the presence of mood disorders and stress levels (p=0.023). Significantly higher resistance and depletion rates among pre-university students were detected when compared to medical students(p<0.001). It is prudent, therefore, to question the appropriateness of a competitive and stressful system to which young people is submitted for the simple aim of studying. It is necessary to emphasize the need for the young person to have the ability to deal with stress and anxiety, a fundamental element for success in the medical exam. There is, therefore, the need for psychological counseling of medical and preparatory course students in order to prevent the installation of stressing comorbidities that affect school and work performance.</p><p></p>