Even the most talented students struggle in medical school. Intense competition, backbreaking workload, and nonstop exams can lead to burnout.
Residents Medical is familiar with this phenomenon. They are doing their best to solve the residency bottleneck– one of the most significant stressors for graduate medical students and alleviate stress when it comes to matching with a residency program.
Residents Medical Group also wants to spread awareness about burnout to help students cope. In this article, they share prevention tips to help medical students avoid burnout.
Maintain Your Physical Health
The daily grind can be exhausting for medical students. Many cut down on sleep to fit everything on their schedule and rely on caffeine and energy drinks to power through each day. But, the body needs time to recover from the punishing workload. Getting ample sleep and paying attention to what you put in your body can help you avoid burnout.
Successful medical students also make it a habit of exercising regularly. If you struggle to establish a routine, then start small. For example, you can begin with five pushups or ten squats daily.
Another easy exercise to get your body moving and clear your mind is going for a daily walk. You can make your walk 15 minutes or 45 minutes. No matter what time you have in your day, moving your body will help reduce stress and create a consistent routine.
Lastly, pay attention to your eating habits. Food is fuel, and you need to consume enough calories and nutrients. Choose healthier options, drink more water, stock up on fruits, and minimize sugary treats.
Taking care of your body will help with your mental health too, this is something that Residents Medical Group stresses to their residents when going through school and medical residency programs.
Practice Mindfulness and Gratitude
Do you constantly replay the past in your head? Do you dread what might happen in the future? Depression and anxiety can get worse because of unhealthy thinking patterns.
Stay in the present moment and be mindful of your thoughts. Use your senses as anchors when your mind starts to drift, and practice meditation to clear your head. This is one of the most important tips for clients of Residents Medical Group. Going through medical school and matching with a residency program can be very stressful, so finding mindfulness can aid in that process.
If you are unsatisfied with life, start a gratitude journal. Write three good things each day: the beautiful weather, a delicious meal, a random compliment, a fun show, an exercise streak, an unexpected call, or a new purchase. Over time, your brain will improve at noticing the good things, and your outlook will shift positively.
Nurture Your Support System
Medical students tend to be intelligent and independent individuals used to high achievement. Past experiences might provide a sense everything is doable with hard work. The team members at Residents Medical Group know this well, that’s why they emphasize the importance of nurturing relationships with others.
Taken to an extreme, it can trigger isolation as students put their heads down and do nothing but study. They might eliminate time with friends and family, creating an imbalance that may contribute to eventual burnout.
It is far better to maintain some contact with friends and family than to cut them off completely. After all, these relationships will outlast medical school so take good care of them. It’s also important to nurture your school relationships with teachers, researchers, and mentors.
These relationships can help you find the right residency programs and help set you up for the future in your career. Other businesses and foundations like Residents Medical Group are a great resource to cultivate a relationship with. These organizations are there to help you in your professional journey.
Social contact can improve well-being and is an essential part of healthy life. Good friends can make you laugh and reduce stress. They can also show you exciting things that expand your mind.
You can also count on friends to join you in your hobbies and take your mind off medical school for a while. Another essential thing is cultivating friendships with your peers and supporting each other in your common goals. Conduct study sessions, share review materials, and work on group projects.
Look Out for Signs of Burnout
Burnout doesn’t happen in one big moment. It builds slowly over time, so you don’t notice it immediately. Awareness will help you adjust quickly and prevent further escalation. Never underestimate the high-stress environment of medical school.
One of the common symptoms of burnout is emotional exhaustion. Repeated stress can make a person feel drained by the roller coaster of emotions. It can reach a point where affected individuals feel stuck in their situation like they have no control over what happens in their life. They no longer feel motivated to study and lack the energy to take action.
Next is depersonalization, in which people have trouble connecting with others. This is particularly problematic because medical students need to connect with their patients. If they cannot establish this link, then the quality of their care may suffer.
The third symptom of burnout is diminished confidence. As mistakes pile up, the students may begin to doubt their abilities and suitability for the profession. It’s crucial to find a healthy way of addressing the issue. If you recognize these signs, take a step back and reassess your situation.
How Residents Medical Group Helps Graduate Students
When facing burnout, focus on what you can control. You will feel powerless if you dwell on past failures or difficult people. These are out of your reach, but you have power over your mind and actions today.
Instead of staying up late cramming, ensure that you get adequate sleep. Instead of spending hours on social media, exercise while you listen to your favorite music. As for the more difficult things, you may be able to rely on other people or organizations. For example, Residents Medical Group helps graduate students find the right residency program.
The residency bottleneck is a big problem in the medical field. The gap between the number of medical graduates and the number of residency opportunities is growing. Competition is intense, pushing everyone to work harder, and unsuccessful applicants face stressful delays in their career progression.
Residents Medical Group headed by Dr. Michael Everest, links up with healthcare institutions in underserved areas to open more residency programs. It gives graduate students a chance to continue their development while improving the lives of the communities they serve. It’s a win-win situation that’s ripe for expansion.