Self-Care Tips in Medical School to Avoid Burnout

The adjustment from college to medical school can be brutal. Medical school is filled with the best of the best students so it can be stressful while coping to the adjustment. In order to be effective in our work we must engage in personal care, have time for introspection and find personal fulfillment. For medical students, potential causes for burnout include: heavy workloads, lack of support system, increased responsibility and student loan debt. Being a medical student is hard enough. If you can’t care for yourself first, how will you care for your patients?

Here are some ways to manage stress by engaging in some self-care:

Take breaks

Unlike college, medical school is like a marathon, it isn’t a sprint so quality over quantity is important when it comes to study time. Taking time away from the books for meditation, or nap will make you more refreshed and productive. Cramming wont work in medical school because of the loads of information being presented. In addition, content in medical school builds off, so studying everyday is beneficial than short term cramming session. Everything you learn in medical school is interconnecting so you can retain the information longer.

Connect with family

Spending time with loved ones very important because it builds bonds and a stronger support system. During stressful times, its always nice to talk to a family member and share what your going through. This also nurtures positive behavior and memories which is crucial when it comes to maintain a positive mindset in medical school.

Go for a walk or exercise

Going for a walk or exercising will give you good clarity and you will feel refreshed. If you ever feel stuck or just need a break – go for a walk and breath in the fresh air.

Take care of yourself

Taking care of yourself first is important that way you can treat your patients effectively. These can be as simple as drink water, eat fruits and vegetables, get enough sleep, shower/bathe, and practice good hygiene.

Make routines

Create a routines and systems that will all you to work around your busy schedule. For example, meal prep in advanced so you can avoid unhealthy foods and schedule going to the gym daily. Also establish a morning and night routine. Try to wake up and sleep at the same time to avoid sleep deprivation and fatigue throughout the day.


About the author:

Jannani Krishnan is a Life Science Research Professional at Stanford University School of Medicine. She holds a B.S in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior from the University of California, Davis. She is a health and wellness advocate and expresses interest in self-love/care, mindfulness and personal growth. Jannani is a prospective Podiatric Medical Student at the California School of Podiatric Medicine.

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