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Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

Medical Education Online

For an Article Collection on

Our Future Physicians: An Examination of Medical Students' Psychological Health and The Effects on Wellbeing, Learning, and Performance

Manuscript deadline
04 September 2023

Cover image - Medical Education Online

Article collection guest advisor(s)

Dr. Amy Miller Juve, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, USA

Dr. Sally Ann Mitchell, Indiana University School of Medicine, USA

Dr. Corinna Yu, Indiana University School of Medicine, USA

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Our Future Physicians: An Examination of Medical Students' Psychological Health and The Effects on Wellbeing, Learning, and Performance

Psychological health encompasses emotional, social, and behavioral health and contributes to overall wellbeing. Together these facets influence one’s ability to cope with stressors, set and reach goals, and be a productive and contributing member of society. Psychological distress has been associated with higher levels of stress and anxiety, psychological disorders, and negative psychological consequences for individuals. The training demands of future physicians can have a profound negative impact on a student's psychological health and studies have shown that medical students have a higher incidence of psychological distress than the general public. As medical education strives to produce competent and healthy physicians to care for our communities, we must focus on understanding the impact of their training and identify tangible ways to care for the psychological health of our future physicians.

Psychological health in medical students is critical for personal and professional development, academic performance, and career success. The ability of a physician to care for patients hinges on self-care and holistic wellbeing. Medical school curricula should prepare students to manage stress, combat burnout, and protect work-life balance. Various political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal factors in the past decade have impacted student anxiety and depression. Understanding the psychological state of future physicians is important to adapt current curricula, create a supportive learning environment, and sustain the workforce. Addressing mental health strategies for the future physician workforce can improve workforce retention and productivity, build resilience, develop a positive work culture, and strengthen one’s ability to make meaningful contributions to patients and society.

This article collection seeks diverse approaches and interventions in the examination of the psychological health of current medical students. We anticipate studies of how undergraduate medical training impacts (positive and negative) mental health, learning, performance, and career success. We invite theory and evidence-based probable solutions to address prevention and coping that support medical students’ ability to maintain psychological health and flourish as future physicians. Manuscripts may describe quantitative, qualitative or mixed-methods studies, literature review articles, case reports, curricular innovations, and perspective/commentary.

Relevant subtopics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Academic performance, learning, and professionalism
  • Anxiety
  • Burnout
  • Causes, drivers, correlates
  • Coping mechanisms
  • Counseling/therapy
  • Depression
  • Diagnosis/assessment
  • Diet/nutrition
  • Disability accommodation
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Family and dependent responsibilities
  • Grit, resilience, and persistence
  • Medications - OTC, prescription, illicit
  • Mindfulness
  • Mentorship, sponsorship, and coaching
  • Physical health, exercise
  • Professionalism
  • Psychiatric and psychological illness - ADD, ADHD, learning disabilities, etc
  • Psychological state, mental health
  • Self-care
  • Services provided by the school/university
  • Sleep
  • Social bonds, family, and support groups
  • Socio Economic and finances
  • Spirituality
  • Stress
  • Success factors
  • Underrepresented in Medicine
  • Vacation, time-away, leave of absence
  • Wellbeing, wellness

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Rigorous peer review for every open access article.

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All manuscripts submitted to this Article Collection will undergo desk assessment and peer-review as part of our standard editorial process. Guest Advisors for this collection will not be involved in peer-reviewing manuscripts unless they are an existing member of the Editorial Board. Please review the journal Aims and Scope and author submission instructions prior to submitting a manuscript.

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