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Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Specialty

Family Practice

Advisor

Mark Archambault, DHSc, PA-C

Abstract

Background: Physician Assistant (PA) education is rigorous and requires a great deal of mental fortitude. PA faculty should be interested in identifying and reducing burnout among their students. Medical students with higher levels of depression and stress display poorer outcomes overall, including in academic performance, medical error, increased cynicism, and reduced empathy.1 Aim: To provide twelve tips to help medical educators identify and support PA students suffering from stress and burnout. Method: The tips provided are based on the author’s experience, collaboration with medical educators and university employees, and the available literature. Results: The twelve tips presented will help medical educators effectively identify PA students suffering from mental health syndromes and recommend interventions and resources to improve quality of life. Early intervention using these tips may lead to more effective medical practice upon graduation. Conclusion: PA students often suffer from burnout and mental health issues, such as panic disorder or depression, which can affect their ability to care for patients.2 It is important for educators to know how to identify student burnout as well support students suffering from stress related disorders. Intervention during medical education can lead to improved patient care on clinical rotations and post-graduation.

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