Exams-a major stress for medical students

Mir Farhat
SRINAGAR, June 18: Depression and anxiety among students studying professional courses in the Valley’s Government Medical Colleges have become a new ticking bomb that is scaring students, even forcing them to commit suicide.
Students and their teachers blame the “traditional, flawed” system of teaching mechanism for making them anxious and sick.
Recent suicide by an MBBS student from Jammu and an attempt to commit suicide by another has once again highlighted the inability of professional colleges to reduce exam-related stress.
23-year-old Priya (name changed), a pre-final MBBS student of GMC, Srinagar committed suicide last week after consuming poison (Aluminum Phosphide) at her home in Jammu.
After passing the send-up examination, Priya had gone to her home in Jammu to prepare for final examination. “She was under severe depression due to examination fear and didn’t want to return for final examination,” her friend told.
Students at the GMC said the exam pattern should be changed because of the vastness of the syllabus in their course.
Following the suicide of the Jammu girl, another female student attempted suicide by jumping into Dal Lake.
She told Excelsior she was disturbed so much due to the pressure of the ongoing exams that she wanted to end her life.
The students also blame the “attitude” of their teachers toward them while studying.
“Some teachers had scolded the girl student who committed suicide because she was depressed due to exams. She was forced to end her life,” the student said.
Faculty members at GMC said the Medical Colleges need to change the traditional methods of teaching.
“We want an integrated and interactive system of teaching so that it involves students into teaching during the classes. But, our administrators have failed to evolve such methods,” said Dr Nisar-ul-Hassan, who teaches Medicine at GMC.
Another faculty member said they need to find ways and means to deal with them with innovative methods of teaching.
Psychiatrists said a significant number of students in the college are depressed due to academic pressure on them.
“Qualitatively the Medical Colleges are boiling pots of stress and strain. So quantifying the stress that students face in Medical Colleges and establishing a causal relationship with psychological morbidity was a difficult proposition,” said Dr Arshad Hussain, a leading Psychiatrist in the Valley.
Dr Arshad said some students were depressed because of choices of the profession which are imposed on them by parents and peers.
“Some students have no aptitude towards the medical subject, but still they are forced into it,” he said.
The events in the college hurt the self-esteem, personal identity, and future career of these future doctors.
“The college authorities can help us to minimse our stress level by creating new teaching methods. For example, they can hold interactive, clinical sessions or teach us about subjects on common diseases at undergraduate level,” one of the student said.


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