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Learning Interventions Can Improve Med Student Well-Being

Environmental interventions such as pass/fail grading system, mental health programs beneficial

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 7, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Specific learning interventions may improve emotional well-being among medical students, according to a review published in the Dec. 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on medical education.

Lauren T. Wasson, M.D., M.P.H., from Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to examine the best practices for undergraduate medical education learning environment interventions that correlate with improved emotional well-being of students. Data were included for 28 articles, with at least 8,224 participants.

The researchers found that for all studies, the mean Medical Education Research Study Quality Instrument (MERSQI) score was 10.3 (possible range, 5 to 18). A variety of interventions were assessed, including those focused on pass/fail grading systems, mental health programs, mind-body skills programs, curriculum structure, multicomponent program reform, wellness program, and advising/mentoring programs (mean MERSQI scores, 12.0, 11.9, 11.3, 9.5, 9.4, 9.0, and 8.2, respectively).

“In this systematic review, limited evidence suggested that some specific learning environment interventions were associated with improved emotional well-being among medical students,” the authors write. “The overall quality of the evidence was low, highlighting the need for high-quality medical education research.”

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