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N Am J Med Sci. 2016 Feb;8(2):75-81. doi: 10.4103/1947-2714.177299.

Stress, Burnout and Coping Strategies in Preclinical Medical Students.

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Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon; Neuroscience Research Center, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Lebanese University, Beirut, Lebanon.
Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon.


It is acknowledged that physicians do not seek the same expert aid for themselves as they would offer their patients. In their preclinical years, medical students appear to espouse comparable behavior. To many, medicine is described as a never-ending path that places the student under heavy stress and burnout from the beginning, leaving him/her vulnerable and with insufficient coping methods. Hence, the objective of this study is to 1) explore the prevalence of stress and burnout among preclinical medical students, and 2) propose solutions to decrease stress and burnout and improve medical education in the preclinical years. A detailed scholarly research strategy using Google Scholar, Scopus, Embase, MEDLINE and PubMed was implemented to highlight key themes that are relevant to preclinical medical students' stress and burnout. Stress varied among different samples of medical students and ranged between 20.9% and 90%. Conversely, burnout ranged between 27% and 75%. Methods that help in reducing the incidence of stress and burnout by promoting strategies that focus on personal engagement, extracurricular activities, positive reinterpretation and expression of emotion, student-led mentorship programs, evaluation systems, career counseling and life coaching should be adopted.


Burnout; medical education; medical school; medical student; preclinical years; stress

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