Skip menu

“Planning, planning and planning”: the case of Swedish medical students’ perception of wellbeing and success

Wednesday 3 July: Conference day one, 11:00am – 11:30am parallel session



Room 4 – 303-G16, Sem 



Dr Anne Algers
Gothenburg University, Sweden

Dr Mona Lundin
Gothenburg University, Sweden



Students in medical education sometimes delay their studies due to circumstances such as background, entry qualifications and psychological variables. Few studies have focused on the relationship between educational organisation and teaching practices for academic achievement. Recent development in society such as the introduction of digital technologies in medical schools and increased need for critical thinking give further arguments for such a study. The aim of this study is to map medical students’ self-reported reasons for delay of studies, measured as not passing exams the first time, with the focus on teaching practices, grit and self-regulated learning (SRL).

This cross-sectional study is based on two cohorts of students, in total 239 students (response rate 96,4%) in a Swedish medical school.  The students voluntarily replied online surveys after one term of study. The survey focused on students’ perceptions of studies, well-being, their academic struggling measured on a grit-scale and their autonomy and control by directing and regulating their own actions toward their learning goals, measured on a SRL-scale.

The results show that high achievement is related to high self-reported grit and autonomy related to individual learning. Further, the retention rate is higher when students collaborate with other students. Fourteen percent of the students had problems with wellbeing and pointed at social arrangements in their studies as important for their wellbeing. The results also show that the only predictors of delay of studies was that native speakers and students with high entry qualifications had a better retention rate, confirming results from previous research.

The problems are addressed from a higher education pedagogy perspective. Changing higher education curricula in order to make it more relevant, focusing on student agency and critical thinking, making use of digital resources, and increasing collaborative activities are discussed to improve academic achievement and wellbeing in medical education.



Duckworth, A. L., Peterson, C., Matthews, M. D., & Kelly, D. R. (2007). Grit: perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Journal of personality and social psychology, 92(6), 1087–1101.
Hovdhaugen, E. (2009). Transfer and dropout: Different forms of student departure in Norway. Studies in Higher Education, 34(1), 1-17.
Jouhari, Z., Haghani, F., & Changiz, T. (2016). Assessment of medical students’ learning and study strategies in self-regulated learning. Journal of advances in medical education & professionalism, 4(2), 72.
O’Neill, L. D., Wallstedt, B., Eika, B., & Hartvigsen, J. (2011). Factors associated with dropout in medical education: a literature review. Medical Education, 45(5), 440–454.


Presentation topic

Students – Wellbeing and Success

Print Friendly, PDF & Email