Article Type

Original Study


Background :Optimism and pessimism affect physicians’ behavior and play importantroles in shaping the future characteristics of a medical student. We carriedout the study to measure optimism and pessimism scores among medicalstudents and its association with important correlates i.e. duration of studyin medical college, gender and intended future specialty.Participants and Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted in GujranwalaMedical College, Pakistan. Using non-probability consecutive sampling,the data was anonymously collected from consenting 150 studentsfrom all classes (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th & final year). Optimism/pessimism scorewas measured using Life Orientation Test – Revised (LOT-R). LOT-R is avalid tool containing ten items to be rated on a scale from zero to four(strongly agree to strongly disagree). Threeitems are related to optimism,three with pessimism and four are fillers only. Score in one domain canrange from zero to twelve. Higher score indicates higher value. We measuredassociation of optimism/pessimism scores with gender, specialty preference,class year and living status.Results: The mean (±SD) optimism and pessimism scores were 8.16±2.4and 5.35 ± 1.95 respectively while median scores (Q1-Q3) were 9 (7-10)and 5 (4-7). Mean age of study population was 21.6 ± 1.7 years. Majority ofthe responders (n, %) were females (116,77.3%), from fourth year class(45, 30%) and living alone away from family (107, 71.3%). Among 150 responders,99 students (66%) were planning to opt a people oriented specialtyin future. Optimism score was significantly lower among male comparedto female students (p=0.019). Pessimism scores were higher amongstudents living with their family (p=0.008). Specialty preference and year ofstudy has shown no effect on either score. (p > 0.05)Conclusion:The result showed that our medical students are optimistic.Pessimism was affected by current living status. Female students werefound more optimistic compared to their male counterparts.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.