A Survey of Medical Student Gambling and Implications for Medical School Educators and Program Development

Michael G. Kavan, Gary H. Westerman, Gary N. Elsasser, Paul D. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In the United States, 82% of adults admit to gambling over the past year. Approximately 2.3% of people are considered to be problematic gamblers and 0.6% are considered to have pathological gambling problems. As many as 87% of college students admit to gambling over the past 12 months with up to 9% of men and 2% of women college students considered to be probable pathological gamblers. To date, no studies have been published regarding medical student gambling and its relationship to demographic variables, academics, socializing, and various risk factors. This study surveyed medical students on the prevalence of gambling, gambling behavior, problematic gambling, the relationship between gambling and academic and social issues, and other risky behaviors. Survey results found that 61% of medical students admitted to gambling over the past year. Overall, 13.6% of students who gambled reported at least one symptom or behavior related to problem gambling and less than one percent of students reported pathological gambling. Few students reported that gambling negatively impacted academics or relationships. In general, medical students reported high rates of alcohol use. Implications for medical educators and administration are discussed within the article.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-128
Number of pages8
JournalMedical Science Educator
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Education

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