Nearly 50% of MBBS students want to opt out midway

Nearly 50% of MBBS students want to opt out midway

Representative image.

A new study of 1,000 medical students from 70 institutions across India has revealed that a large number of them felt like dropping out of the course while a majority of students were physically or mentally affected during the coursework.

The survey conducted online by the students of the Koppal Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), recently, had a sample size of 1,001 MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) students from 70 medical colleges around India.

“This sample size comprises 13% of total medical colleges of India,” explained Harshendragouda Patil, is a third-year MBBS student and head of the Student Academic Committee. He is one of the authors of the survey report.

“To conduct the survey, we contacted a large number of students on various medical student groups across the country and we set up a system whereby only one phone number (for entry registration) could complete the survey once,” Patil said.

The survey data, which was shared with DH, comprised a majority of third year MBBS students (38%), followed by final-year students (30.5%) and second-year students (24.3%). It did not include any first year students, but had students on internships and post internships.

“The objective was to provide an insight into the lives of students in their first two years of MBBS studies,” Patil said.

Reflecting on their first year, 73.9% of students said they had entered medical education voluntarily, without parental influences. Nearly 43% said they felt the urge to drop out of the course. More than 11% of students also said they began drinking and smoking during the initial two years of the study course.

“This is interesting because medical students study the risks of drinking and smoking during their course and to take up these habits after class is really surprising, considering that one out of every 10 medicos is doing it,” the authors of the survey said.

The surveyors were shocked to see that 69.8% of students said they believed that ‘sensible ragging’ allowed them to build a relationship with seniors.

A majority (43%) also confessed to studying anywhere from zero to two hours during much of the academic year, while cramming 10 to 16 hours during final exams. Perhaps predictably, 40.2% of students described their health as being ‘fair’ during examination season, while 8.7% described it as being ‘poor’. However, 51.1% of students described their health as excellent during exam season.

By second year, 58.9% described academics as being stressful. Nevertheless, 54.8% of students described their health as ‘good’.

At the same time, of those who felt the impulse to drop out, 63.9% said they had joined MBBS voluntarily. Meantime, substance abuse among those in a relationship amounted to 28% of those surveyed.