Stress in Hispanic women enrolled in selected medical schools in Texas
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Little uniquely identifiable information about Hispanic women who gain entrance into medical school is known. A few studies that focus just on stress in Hispanic women in medical school have found unique stressors. This research examines stress in Hispanic women students (all four years) at Texas A&M University System Health Science Center College of Medicine (TAMUS-HSC) at College Station and at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston, Texas. Twenty- four women took part in this project. Data was gathered using a packet of questionnaires, incorporating Sheridan and Radmachers Comprehensive Scale of Stress Assessment and the Personal Style Inventory (1987 and 1991) and The Community Oriented Primary Care (COPC) Student Project: Stress in First-Year Medical Students (Lensky, Noori, Matsukuma, Melamud & Chen, 1999). Each woman was personally interviewed. The results suggest increased stress and unique stressors found by others who have researched Hispanic women in medical school. The intensity of medical school coupled with the stress that engulfs them from fear and sometimes anger (two stress emotions) stemming from worry about failure in school and worry about student loans that they are fearful they may not be able to repay causes high stress. Social, ethnic, and cultural bias and norms barriers to which they struggle to overcome anger them. Results from investigation of coping strategies suggest the women are coping as well as can be expected and are joyous over what they are doing. They rely on social groups to give them support. The knowledge they have obtained that there is prejudice toward their academic qualifications seems to make them more determined. They appear to be non-traditional and strong women who feel they are destined to become medical doctors This research should add valuable information to future research in this area. It is suggested by this author that there is a need for substantial, active, immediate and constant support for all minority students in Texas medicine. It is of necessity that minority mentors be trained and efforts made to put in place a program that works to support the women who are struggling and in fear of failing out.
Anita, Connelly Nicholson (2004). Stress in Hispanic women enrolled in selected medical schools in Texas. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from