Korean J Vet Res.  2020 Jun;60(2):69-77. 10.14405/kjvr.2020.60.2.69.

A study on stress experiences of Korean veterinary students

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Education, The Graduate School, Konkuk University, Seoul 05029, Korea
  • 2Department of Veterinary Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
  • 3Department of Anatomy, College of Veterinary Medicine, Konkuk University, Seoul 05029, Korea
  • 4Veterinary Science Research Institute, Konkuk University, Seoul 05029, Korea

Abstract

The quality of a veterinary service depends on the veterinarian’s physical and mental health. However, a veterinarian’s mental health is generally considered to be more vulnerable than that of other health care professionals. As many veterinary students will enter the veterinary profession in near future, it is necessary to investigate their psychological status. This study examined stressors affecting student life in one veterinary school. Anxiety, depression, and stress levels were assessed using questionnaires and qualitative research techniques. The results obtained from questionnaires showed that the proportion of veterinary students with psychological distress was higher than expected. The major stressors experienced by the veterinary students were academic, economic, and environmental. Qualitative study using a photovoice method revealed that the students in this study felt relatively deprived compared with those in other veterinary schools. In addition, they were distressed by the school environment and limited human relationship. Our results suggest that veterinary school administrators should be aware of students’ psychological distress and should undertake systematic improvement in their educational system by altering counseling programs, curricula, and school culture principles.

Keyword

veterinary students; stress; anxiety; depression; mental health
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