Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 3-2-2023


Background: Medical student burnout and anxiety has received growing attention in the past decade. The culture of competition and assessment has resulted in increasing stress levels amongst medical students, causing a decline in their academic performance and overall mental health. The objective of this qualitative analysis was to characterize recommendations from educational experts to aid students’ academic progress. Methods: At an international meeting in 2019, worksheets were completed by medical educators during a panel discussion. Participants responded to four scenarios representing common challenges medical students face in school (eg. Postponing Step 1, failing clerkships, etc.). For each case, participants addressed what students, faculty and medical schools could do to mitigate the challenge. Inductive thematic analysis was conducted by two authors followed by deductive categorization using an individual-organizational resilience model. Results: Across the four cases, common suggestions made for students, faculty and medical schools were aligned to a resilience model representing the complex interplay between individuals and organizations and the impact on student wellbeing. Discussion: Using suggestions from medical educators from across the US, we were able to identify recommendations for students, faculty, and medical schools to help students succeed in medical school. By applying a model of resilience, faculty serve as a critical bridge to connect students to the medical school administration. Our findings also support a pass/fail curriculum to ease the competition and burden students place on themselves.


This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Persistant Identifier


Taylor & Francis

Permanent Email Address



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.