University of Illinois at Chicago
ROBINSON-THESIS-2023.pdf (1.47 MB)

Reactions to Wellness Initiatives: A Digital Ethnographic Study of Medical Student Reddit

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posted on 2023-08-01, 00:00 authored by Daniel Wellington Robinson
Studies show that medical training is fraught with burnout and wellness issues. As a result, numerous medical schools have developed wellness initiatives hoping to prevent burnout in their students. However, it is not well known how medical students react to these initiatives. Using digital ethnographic methods, this study sought to examine how medical students who engage in online discourse on Meddit (medical student Reddit), reacted to institutional wellness initiatives. We found that medical students on Meddit frequently discussed burnout and wellness though the lens of their lived experiences, describing their personal struggles with school and mental health, feelings of being unwell, and specific challenges they encounter. They also highlighted structural and institutional consequences demonstrating that institutional support does not appear to be improving burnout. Understanding the way that medical students view burnout and wellness is integral to finding solutions to burnout in medical education. We found that current institutional initiatives are not blending well with how medical students understand their own education in the face of widespread burnout.



Hirshfield, Laura


Hirshfield, Laura


Medical Education

Degree Grantor

University of Illinois at Chicago

Degree Level

  • Masters

Degree name

MHPE, Master of Health Professions Education

Committee Member

Hyderi, Abbas Schwartz, Alan

Submitted date

August 2023

Thesis type



  • en

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