Practicing Self-Compassion While Utilizing Resources

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Reflection discussing challenges of dealing with burnout and frustration that follows from knowing about coping skills but struggling to utilize them effectively.

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Archi Patel, University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Class of 2027

To break this cycle, it is key to validate these emotions, encourage self-compassion and persist in seeking support.

The discussion of wellness is necessary, applicable, and crucial for premed and medical students.

“Burnout is real.”

“Burnout appears in various ways.”

“Find coping resources that work for you.”

These phrases are tossed around, but it is important for us to recognize the issues and provide strategies and resources to mitigate these feelings. Students may know that there are phone numbers and text lines to access help, and they may be aware of different coping skills and techniques that have been shown to work for many people.  Yet, it can be hard for students to seek help or to put into practice those skills.

Often, if medical students are feeling burned out, their first thought is probably not journaling, exercising, or talking to a loved one. Instead, students frequently want to push through, socially withdraw, doom-scroll on devices, or slump in their safe space. They feel stuck, guilty, or that there may be a stigma about utilizing coping skills and resources. This can feel frustrating. So, if you are a student what should you try instead?

First, recognize when you’re feeling burnt out. Acknowledging that can be hard and that is okay. Although it can feel like a huge challenge, start with small steps.

Second, know you are not alone in your emotions. Others have felt this way, too. If it feels like you’re in survival mode, just scraping by, recognize that taking time out to utilize resources and coping skills is not just another task on the to-do list but an investment in yourself and your health.

Third, redirect your mind to understand that wellness is crucial, and resources are available to help. Self-compassion and building resilience are key to fixing burn out. Go for a walk, eat healthy, and take breaks. If you are in crisis and need to talk to someone, no matter which medical school you attend, you can text HOME to 741741 to reach a volunteer Crisis Counselor for support with guided resources. You can also go to Crisis Textline ( for resources, which include a listening ear from a volunteer counselor, journaling app, 75 Coping Skills, and an interactive wellness game. Additionally, peer support programs, counseling services, and social events are often found at medical schools. Wellness resources are also listed on each medical school’s MSAR profile.

Archi Patel is a medical student at University of Central Florida College of Medicine (Expected graduation, 2027) who volunteers her time as a Crisis Counselor for the Text Line. She graduated college with a degree in Biomedical Sciences and minors in Mathematics and Psychology. Outside of medicine she loves to paint and dance.

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The views and opinions expressed in this collection are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Association of American Medical Colleges.