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Guess Mom Was Worried About Pathophys

Yesterday I had my Pathophysiology final exam. The policy is that as long as you pass the final with a 65%, then you pass the course. If you don’t get below 65% on the final, then they will average all the scores, with the final weighing 40% of your grade and the average must be above 65%

The test was 120 questions and we were given 5 hours. It started at 9:00 AM and we were given 60 questions and 2.5 hours to complete it. We had to come back at 1:00 PM for the second.

After the test my brain was a wreck. I couldn’t think and it was hard for me to get studying for the next exam (Pharmacology). Well the posted the scores later that night and I passed it.

Today I messaged mom on Yahoo:

Me: so i passed the hardest class in 2nd year
Mom: thank GOd

 
Yeah.. So I guess she was worried about it.

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Study, Study, Study

Kind of freaking out over exams. They start in a little over a week. Exams will take two weeks. Then I’ll have 2 weeks to study for Step 1, which is one of the licensing exams.

The Pathophysiology exam is on the 18th. It’s a cumulative exam with part one in the morning and part two after lunch. The picture above is the course syllabus. Close to 600 pages of the mechanism of diseases. I flipped through it and found a page that had zero markings. No highlighting, no annotations.

It freaked me out cause I thought I should know something about that topic. So I quickly turned to look at other marked up pages like the one pictured above.

Blah.. back to studying.

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Oh, You’ll do fine

Note: While this was posted yesterday after about two weeks of Christmas break, I wrote most of it during the “heat of the moment.” I almost didn’t finish the thought/post, but I thought I’d include it as it was how I felt at the time during exam week. Honestly, I do appreciate the attempts to ease my anxiety. End

One of the phrases that I have come to despise hearing is “Oh, you’ll do fine.” It is often heard when someone is stressing out like crazy about an upcoming exam. Some well-meaning person will simply say, “Oh, you’ll do fine,” or some other variant. As if all the concern and stress over the exam is unfounded.

I appreciate the thought. I’m thankful that some one is attempting to make things better. But I really don’t know how “useful” that statement is. The statement in itself is not going to make me feel better. As well-meaning as it is, the reassurance does little in reducing my anxiety.

The fact is that medical school isn’t easy. The exams are hard. The pressure is heavy. The stress is real.

I’m not sure what to do about the pre-test anxiety. And I’m not sure about what to about the post-test anxiety (after taking an exam but before seeing my score) either.

And well since I’m not sure what I should do about the anxiety, I have no clue what other people can do to help.

But I think if a medical student complains to you about a really hard exam, don’t say, “Oh, you’ll do fine.”

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Surrounded by geniuses

I am no gunner. Trust me. I might have a gunner-like thought once in a while. You might even say I have some gunner tendencies. But if MTV decided to make Real World: Medical School, it would be irrefutable: I am not a gunner. Because while I might like to have the highest score on the next exam, I simply don’t do enough to turn that passing desire into reality.

Some people do, though. There is always someone who scores the highest. Usually its kind of sickening to see what the top score is. I hope that whoever is getting the top scores is putting hours and hours into studying, preferably over 8 hours a day. If he or she is getting top scores with only one or two hours of studying a day… well I don’t want to know who it is.

Earlier in the year, when our scores were sent home, the report had: points possible, score, class average, and standard deviation. Well, the class gave its input, the people in charge of the reports listened, and now the spreadsheets we receive also have the top and lowest score.

Now, every time I go to check whether I passed the last exam or not, I get to see how some genius missed only one or two questions.

Good advice given to medical students: “Don’t compare yourself to your classmates.”

I agree. I just have to focus on doing the best that I can — even though, at times, finding out my score can be a very humbling experience.