Objective: The aim of this study was to analyze the factors related to the quality of life of medical students. Methods: This narrative review was conducted after searching the article databases (PubMed, PubMed Central, Scopus, Medline, Lilacs, SciELO and Mendeley) about the factors related to the quality of life of medical students. The identified factors were then analyzed and grouped into six major themes. Results: The quality of life of medical students its multifactorial and also includes their perception of educational environment. Studies show a worse quality of life compared to other university students and the general population. The components associated with quality of life may, in addition to the individual field, be related to social determinants and to medical education itself. Conclusion: Among factors that can protect medical student quality of life are time management, physical activity, adequate amount of sleep and the development of coping strategies through mindfulness, resilience and mentoring. Factors that were reported to decrease their quality of life included female gender, sexual and gender minorities, mental disorders, harassment or bullying, substance use, negative life events and negative perception of social support and financial health. Knowing the factors that influence students’ quality of life can contribute to develop actions that encourage students to improve their personal skills and also to foster institutional strategies related to a positive and protective educational climate for medical students.