Medical Student Perceptions of Healthy Lifestyles
A Qualitative Study
Medical student’s commitment to personal and professional health promotion decreases during their 4 years of medical school. Changes in their personal health behaviors are accompanied by a congruent set of changes in their attitudes regarding health promotion. The purpose of this qualitative study was to learn more about medical student attitudes about healthy lifestyles. Focus group sessions were conducted among 45 volunteer medical students at West Virginia University School of Medicine using a 9 question script. Healthy lifestyles were defined as balancing the emotional, physical, social, and spiritual aspects of life. Although no differences were observed between basic and clinical science students with regard to their stated priorities, stark differences were observed with regard to their openness to learning about lifestyle, where basic science students were more receptive.