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Self-Compassion and Stress in Saskatchewan Medical Students, Residents, and Attending Physicians



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Stress can have a negative impact and is prevalent at high rates in physicians. This research study expands existing research into Saskatchewan physicians and measures the level of stress in medical students, residents, and attending physicians in Saskatchewan. Self-compassion is an emergent topic in the western world and may provide a mechanism to mitigate the experience of stress. This study also measures the level of self-compassion in the same population, and compares the levels of stress to that of self-compassion to determine what, if any, relationship exists. The population targeted is further broken down into males and females, as well as into those in a family medicine, non-surgical specialty, and surgical specialty programs. The total population is collapsed into a final category of Saskatchewan physicians. Data were collected via an online survey using the Perceived Stress Scale-10, the Self-Compassion Scale (short form), and a measure of self-care. Parametric and non-parametric tests used to analyze the data revealed that stress and self-compassion have a statistically significant negative linear relationship for all populations, including when collapsed, with two exceptions: attending physicians, and those in a non-surgical specialty. There was a statistically significant difference in level of stress between residents and attending physicians. Self-care data collected indicate Saskatchewan physicians feel good in their ability to take care of their intellectual and sensual domains, but that they need work in taking care of their physical and spiritual domains. Future research should focus on studying the implementation of different stress reducing mechanisms, targeting both the physicians experiencing stress, along with the systems that physicians work and learn within.



stress, self-compassion, self-care, attending physician, resident, medical student



Master of Education (M.Ed.)


Educational Psychology and Special Education


Educational Psychology and Special Education


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