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GMS J Med Educ. 2016 Aug 15;33(4):Doc52. doi: 10.3205/zma001051. eCollection 2016.

"Peer2Peer" - A university program for knowledge transfer and consultation in dealing with psychosocial crises in med-school and medical career.

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Medical University of Graz, Department of Medical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Graz, Austria.


in English, German


Medical students are exposed to various psychosocial problems and challenges. Specific consultations services and programs can support them. "Peer2Peer" is such a consultation program and was implemented at the Medical University of Graz. It focusses on crisis intervention, psychosocial stress management, junior mentoring as well as student education in this field. Besides, it also offers student tutors of the program practical skills trainings. The program was restructured in winter term 2014/15.


On the one hand, "Peer2Peer" gives insights into topics such as the current state of research concerning the students' psychological strain and psychosocial crises in acutely stressful situations and preventive approaches for coping with these kinds of situations on the other hand. These aspects are taught by means of elective courses, lectures and workshops. Furthermore, "Peer2Peer" provides consultation services by student tutors who give face-to-face advice if required. These tutors receive ongoing training in organizational and professional issues.


Since the summer term of 2015, 119 students have been trained (via lectures and elective courses), while 61 contacts (short consultation) and 33 contacts (full consultation) have been supervisied. In total, two psychotherapeutic and one psychosocial follow ups were recommended. There are seven students who participate as tutors in the program.


The "Peer2Peer" program is intended to enable a low-threshold access for medical students facing psychosocial crises situations and to help them in dealing with stress and learning problems. An increase in support contacts from the summer term of 2015 to the winter term of 2015/16 can be considered a success. A first evaluation of the different components of the program started in the winter semester of 2015/16. The student tutors have not only acquired practical skills in dealing with students in crises situations but also various organizational skills.


medical students; psychosocial support systems

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