Tips For Preventing Burnout in Med School


Medical programs can be extremely difficult and stressful for many. Medical students often find themselves constantly balancing many important responsibilities and consequential goals.

They must ace their exams, get good grades, leave an impression on the professors and evaluators, conduct complex research, and much more. 

Achieving all this requires immense dedication and lots of work, so it’s no surprise that burnout is a common topic of discussion among med students, including all types of psychiatrists, physicians, and doctors.

Here’s what you can do as a student to avoid burnout and handle its effects.

Major Early Signs of Study Burnout

Burnout is a form of exhaustion caused by extreme workloads, making you constantly feel overwhelmed. It occurs because of prolonged and excessive physical, mental, and emotional pressure.

These days the word is commonly used in nearly every profession and workplace worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 in 4 adults experiences burnout syndrome at some point.

With the extensive workload, long hours, and immense pressure put on medical students, it’s no wonder that around 50% of them face burnout. Fortunately, quite a few apps can help improve students’ health while studying and relaxing.

Here are the major symptoms to look out for:

Constant Exhaustion

Research shows that when people face heavy workloads, they have little to no opportunity to rest or recover and restore balance to their health and well-being. This sort of persisting exhaustion causes you to feel mentally, emotionally, and physically worn out most of the time. 

Constantly feeling swamped causes you to be on low energy and frequently feel overwhelmed, which has drastically adverse effects on your work performance. Finding difficulty concentrating, being less efficient than usual, being late with assignments, and being more forgetful are common signs associated with burnout.

Loss of Enthusiasm

The stress and frustration of doing work make you irritable and increasingly negative. You don’t feel the enthusiasm or interest you once had for it, and you slowly start to emotionally drift away from yourself. 

Research has shown that students who feel rewarded or are acknowledged for their achievements, either financially or socially, are less likely to burn out. A lack of control over the work and insufficient recognition make them feel less valued and more vulnerable to losing enthusiasm.

Sleep Problems

Countless studies show the impact that stress and worry can have on sleeping habits. You might not be able to sleep early at night and spend hours contemplating.

In some cases, people experiencing insomnia aren’t able to sleep for long hours and wake up in the middle of the night often without getting back to sleep. If you don’t have a regular schedule, major or long-lasting stress can result in chronic insomnia.

Physical Symptoms

Experiencing all of these symptoms along with chronic stress will also lead to physical disorders and issues like constant headaches, migraines, skin problems, back pain, and general body aches.

It’s important to note that burnout can often develop alongside depression and anxiety, both of which also cause physical problems. Depression causes stomach aches, sleep problems, and appetite changes, while anxiety can lead to headaches, nausea, and shortness of breath.

How to Prevent Burnout Before it Affects You

There are quite a few areas to consider if you want to combat burnout. While most people are familiar with the benefits of each area, when put together collectively, they form a good lifestyle that reduces the risk of developing depression and protects students from burnout.

Maintain Work-Life Balance

When you’re stressed and can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, it’s a good idea to leave your seat and spend some time with friends and family. 

Doing fun activities and having conversations with people you enjoy will enable you to think positively and offer a fresh perspective on your problems.

We aren’t made to handle stress and work for prolonged periods; balancing between work and life gives you the recharge you need to get back into action.

Simplify Your Studies

Med students often get overwhelmed because they try to handle too many core resources all at once. Focusing on one or two core resources is more effective and less stressful.

When preparing for tests, take some time to study which resources are the most efficient for the test you’re preparing for before the lecture begins. A review book plus a quality question bank is sufficient enough for you to ace an exam.

Eat a Balanced Diet

Eating the appropriate amount and right kinds of food greatly impacts your energy levels and mood. Giving your body what it needs allows it to cope better under stress or pressure. Staying away from certain foods can help in the same way.

Med students often drink coffee or energy drinks more than they need to, which contains caffeine that is not good for you after its effects have worn off. Eat healthy, fresh foods, including fruits, vegetables, and foods rich in vitamin C.


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