Our Best Resources for Avoiding Burning Out While Studying for the USMLE

  • /Reviewed by: Amy Rontal, MD
  • Here’s how to prevent burnout during your dedicated USMLE study period.

    It’s that time of year again. With the three most popular months to take Step 1 being April, May, and June, med school students everywhere are now studying intensely to take the USMLE Step 1 exam and post good scores.

    With so much time dedicated to studying, burnout should be a real concern for medical students. Burnout typically occurs when you get overwhelmed by the multitude of demands between studying for the exam, classes, and overall academic performance. In the words of a current med student, burnout is described as “At some point, you just stop. You’re not taking anything in, you’re stressed the whole time.

    In some cases, you may be studying for 12 hours a day but you’ll actually see a decrease in academic performance because you feel burned out.

    The good news is that burnout can be completely avoided if you recognize the early symptoms and get ahead of it. We’ve written a number of posts about burnout in the past and we wanted to reshare some of our most popular posts to help you.

    Read about how Rebecca, a student at Eastern Virginia Medical School, recognizes and prevents burnout from occurring in the course of her medical school studies. As a med school student, she knows the stress and study schedules required to succeed. She provides some simple tips from her unique perspective about how to prevent burnout.

    Learn exactly how to prevent study burnout during the difficult time before taking the USMLE Step 1 exam. Discover what to do if you fall behind and learn the counterintuitive importance of building some free time into your schedule.

    Adam, a med school student at Ross University, goes into his personal experience studying for and ultimately getting a score of 240 on the USMLE Step 1 exam. He talks about the importance of motivation during studying and the two things that helped him most with regards to accountability.

    One of the most important but least recognized topics during the study period before the USMLE Step 1 is self care. In many cases, the time you spend away from studying is just as important as the time you spend studying! Read this article to discover the top 3 tips you’ll need to avoid burnout and obtain a good score on the USMLE Step 1 exam.

    While you’re going through this study period, always remember to pace yourself while studying, prepare ahead, and take time off. Read through the experiences of current and past medical school students to learn exactly how you can prepare for and prevent burnout prior to the USMLE Step 1 exam.

    About the Author

    Erica Forrette is the former Director of Marketing at Cram Fighter.