HSC Education Days

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BACKGROUND: Physical Activity (PA) has been correlated to lower burnout rates and higher quality of life in medical students. This study looks to assess PA during certain phases of medical education and its correlation to burnout, quality of life and self-care. METHODS: The University of New Mexico School of Medicine (UNM SOM) Medical Student Wellness Survey is administered to all medical students at matriculation, at the end of year 1 and at the end of year 3. This survey includes information on PA, burnout, quality of life, and self-care. PA was assessed in accordance with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for both strength and aerobic components. Independent T-tests were performed to test the hypotheses that increased PA was associated with lower burnout, improved quality of life, and more self-care. RESULTS: At matriculation, 63% of students met either the strength or aerobic component of CDC PA recommendations. This is compared to 68% of students at end of year 1 and 49% of students at end of year 3. Compared to their non-compliant counterparts, 3rd year students who met CDC PA recommendations had statistically significant lower rates of burnout (4.3 vs. 5.0, P < .01), higher quality of life (6.5 vs. 5.4, P < .0001), and were more likely to engage in self-care activities (4.1 vs. 3.4, P < .0001). CONCLUSION: Students who meet CDC recommendations during 3rd year have lower rates of burnout, higher quality of life and more frequent self-care than their less active counterparts. 3rd year medical students engage in less PA than their matriculating and 1st year counterparts. This data supports the need to longitudinally study exercise habits in medical students, identify barriers to meeting CDC PA guidelines, and design intervention to encourage physical activity.


This poster was presented during the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center Education Day, 2019.



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