Student Wellness Research

A critical component of OMSW’s work involves ongoing assessment of medical students’ wellness needs and evaluation of our wellness programs.

 Stanford medical students take the Learning Environment and Wellness Survey to assess their well-being related to four areas: stress, mental health, empathy, and the learning environment. In 2013, findings revealed that in the third year of medical school, empathy, mental health, and learning environment quality were slightly reduced, and student stress was slightly elevated, suggesting the importance of wellness programming for clerkship students.


In Fall 2014, OMSW administered the OMSW Start-of-Year Survey to assess medical students’ interest in programming across a range of wellness topics. Respondents identified stress management, exercise, nutrition, sleep, and relationships as the topics that interested them most. 

Also in 2014, Stanford medical students Megan Roosen-Runge and Jessie Liu conducted the Barriers to Self-Care in Medical School Study, which involved a survey (n=171) and discussion groups (n=17) to assess the self-care habits students tend to sacrifice, barriers to self-care, protective factors, and desired programming to promote self-care. Respondents indicated that the greatest barriers to their self-care were lack of time, lack of energy, and the culture of medicine; there was increased perception among clinical students that the culture of medicine and lack of energy are significant barriers. The wordle to the left highlights the most common words used on student survey's.

OMSW is encouraged by 2014 Association of American Medical Colleges Graduation Questionnaire data indicating that the percentage of Stanford medical students who are very satisfied with the School’s programs and activities to promote well-being is increasing and is higher than the All Schools average.