The lived experience of stress in British South-Asian medical students and junior doctors.

Journal article

Jasmin, I. and Binnie, J. (2020). The lived experience of stress in British South-Asian medical students and junior doctors. Work (Reading, Mass.).
AuthorsJasmin, I. and Binnie, J.
AbstractStress is an acknowledged element of the medical profession; how cultural backgrounds may affect the perception of stress is understudied. This study aimed to examine the stress-related experiences of British South Asian medical students and junior doctors, and to explore their coping mechanisms. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with five participants at various stages of medical training. All participants reported stress, anxiety or depression and were of a British South Asian heritage. An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was undertaken and three master themes were identified. These themes follow a narrative journey. The first theme was Individual and External Reasoning, and referred to the factors that influenced participants career choices - both internal (e.g. a sense of self-efficacy) and external (e.g. prior exposure to the medical career). Secondly, Stress and Vulnerability examined the stress the participants experienced as a result of either internal stressors (e.g. perfectionism) or external stressors (e.g. social comparison). The last theme, Perseverance and Coping, referred to the coping strategies that participants developed to deal with aforementioned stressors, which varied from self-harm to visualisation. The choice to pursue a medical career was based on self-efficacy, prior exposure, and the perceived prestige of the vocation. Stressors and related coping mechanisms varied within the cohort, depending on social, environmental, and psychological circumstances. Whilst stress management interventions should take a personalised approach, considering individual cultural backgrounds; the systemic factors within medical training that directly lead to stress have to be addressed rather than merely acknowledged.
KeywordsDoctors; burnout; culture; interpretative phenomenological analysis; mental health; qualitative
JournalWork (Reading, Mass.)
PublisherIOP Publishing
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Publication dates
Online10 Jul 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted29 Jul 2019
Deposited15 Aug 2019
Accepted author manuscript
File Access Level
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