Background

The primary objective of this investigation was to objectify perceived stresses of students enrolled at a US college of podiatric medicine.

Methods

Following preliminary pilot data collection and representative student interviews, the Perceived Stress Scale and a newly developed survey consisting of 46 potential stresses were administered to students. Participants were asked to identify up to ten items from the survey that caused them the most stress and to further identify up to three of these ten that they considered to be the most stressful.

Results

A response rate of 71.5% (261 of 365) was observed. Specific results demonstrate that levels of perceived stress in podiatric medical students are higher than those in the general population, as well as some potential trends with respect to specific perceived stresses that change over time.

Conclusions

The results of this investigation provide quantitative evidence of perceived levels of stress and specific stresses of students enrolled at a US college of podiatric medicine. We hope that these findings increase awareness of stress in podiatric medicine, lead to colleges of podiatric medicine taking active steps to improve student stress education, and lead to future investigations of stress and mental health in the field of podiatric medicine.

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