Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Course Instructor

Abby Massey

Capstone Semester

Fall 2021

Date of Graduation



Purpose: In response to the decline of mental health and wellness of students within medical school programs, recent research has been exploring the effects of implementation of wellness curriculums. The purpose of this review is to highlight the research that has been conducted in the medical school environment and to establish the need for further research. This review will specifically discuss the implementation of a student-led wellness curriculum at James Madison University’s Physician Assistant Program and its impact on students. Methods: A thorough search was conducted using Google Scholar using specific inclusion and exclusion criteria (see Table 1). A meta-analysis was then conducted by closely examining three studies that demonstrated the need for implementation of a wellness curriculum in medical school and/or physician assistant programs. Results: All three studies assessed multiple facets of wellness amongst medical students, resident physicians, and physician assistant students. Areas of wellness that were assessed included sleep hygiene, stress management, nutrition, depression, anxiety, and exercise. Two studies utilized the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Student Survey (MBI-SS), and one utilized the GAD-7 score, PHQ2 depression scale, QOL scale, and Epworth sleepiness scale. These three studies all demonstrated the need for a wellness program to be initiated amongst this population of students based on the high rates of depression, anxiety, sleep disorders coupled with the lack of self-care, unhealthy stress management strategies, and poor nutrition and exercise practices. Conclusion: This meta-analysis concluded that the high rates of burnout and poor mental health amongst medical and physician assistant students warrant the need for intervention, specifically in the form of a multi-dimensional student-led wellness curriculum.

Document Type


Available for download on Friday, December 15, 2023