Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cheer, Relief? Joy?

All of my classmates finished exams on Monday, May 5th. Unfortunately, I had to take a make up exam on Friday, May 9th. This meant that while all of my friends were done studying, I was up until all hours of the night pulling my hair out for an extra four days. Overall, the exam wasn't bad. All of the exams in medical school are multiple choice, scantron. There are some practical exams where you actually have to write down an answer in the blank provided. But..for the make up exam, I wrote and wrote and....wrote. After 3.5 hours of non-stop writing. I was finally done. My hand hurt all night. I haven't written so much in a single setting in years. With computers and typing, I don't think I have written so much since I was in high school and would doodle notes to my friends to pass back and forth in class. Now I am done - No more exams, but you know what sadistic idea our school has? They decided that we should all have to come to class for two more weeks to give small group presentations (graded on a pass/fail basis). No exam. Do you know how hard it is to sit in class and listen to ever-so-exciting presentations when you are not going to be tested on it? (In fact, I am writing this while listening to two of my classmate present a case about a women presenting with pre-eclampsia.) But, I digress. After that 3.5 hour, heart-wrenching, hand-hurting examination, I was done. I was basically done with my M1 year. More than that, I am officially half-way done with all my education for being a physician. I got home and had a rush of emotion. On the way home, I wanted to cry from the relief, but I didn't. I wasn't really relieved. Joy? I was happy, but I wouldn't call my mood joyous. I couldn't peg the feeling. I finally realized that I was just numb. I really didn't know what to feel. I had no feeling. I finished one of the hardest years of my life. I worked harder (mentally) than I ever have in my life. I am proud to have finished, but disappointed in the experience. If you have any expectations of what medical school is like, you will realize that it isn't going to be anything like you thought it would be.

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