Saturday, July 11, 2009

1 week break

Right now, I am officially on my 1 week break. I've just finished my endocrine posting so I have basically only two more selective terms (gastro and respiratory) each spanning a month's duration before I face my DREADED FINALS. As each day passes, I can't help but get more jittery...I feel very unprepared considering the limited amount of time I have left. And it doesn't help that my friends from my previous medical university have posted countless photos of their convocation/graduation day/graduation ball openly to the public. There's no need for words, the pictures themselves reveal their inner happiness and triumph of finally graduating as a doctor after salvaging for approximately 6 years. It does make me feel incredibly envious of them; wishing I was in their place instead of trying to fight the hands of time. I desperately need to MAKE FULL USE of this 1 week to try and squeeze as much revision as possible especially targeting the VIVA questions and other subspecialities like paediatrics, O&G and pyschiatry. I haven't yet properly touched the subspecialities yet; I've been focusing mostly on trying to complete the surgical, medical and emergency viva questions (in total there are 125 questions) and at least I'm almost there. Each question covers a particular clinical problem. Of course, you can take the easy way out and refer to the senior's notes on the management of that specific clinical scenario but you will be clearly LACKING in knowledge about the disease. I've been citing clinical practice guidelines online as well as referring to my ever-so-dependable Kumar & Clark clinical medicine textbook and Oxford clinical handbook to tackle each problem. That's why its so time consuming for me and furthermore the most irratating thing is that I always tend to forget most of the important stuff when I move on to the next topic. I need to re-revise the entire stash of viva questions (at least 2 more rounds) before I sit for my exams to ensure that I instil all the vital aspects and recall them at the tip of my fingertaps. Because on the actual day, when you are nervous and tense plus given only 5 minutes to prove/convince your examiner that you know your stuff; you are definitely bound to forget some important detail. We have been advised to practice our vivas among our colleagues so that it will come like second nature to us during the exam.

Sigh, I feel so overwhelmed with the vast amount of information I need to learn. I wish that I was blessed with a memory like some of my other friends who only need to read the material once and yet recall the information almost perfectly the next time you ask them. I mean, even normal human beings have a limited capacity of memory space in their brains. But no, medical students are an entirely different race; we need to gorge ourselves with endless information at lightning speed and regurgitate the entire stuff out as if we have had numerous lectures and teaching sessions on it. In reality, we only get one class (sometimes two if we are lucky) that touches briefly on the topic and its up to us to take the initiative to delve further and expand on the topic during our spare time (or whatever time we have left).

A lot of my friends are strong Christians which makes me feel that religion can be a useful tool in times of hardship such as facing exams. I am amazed with the amount of faith they have in themselves and the will of God that He will see them through the exams so long as they trust and believe in Him and themselves. One of my friends told me that it doesn't matter whether or not she passes the exam the first time, it could actually be a blessing in disguise and that God has a 'Bigger Plan' for her. Eventually God will lead her down the path that is intended for her for eg: her parents and relatives were steadily pressuring her to accept her offer to study pharmacy in UK but somehow she had self-doubts as she felt that this was not the 'career' God had chosen for her and that she was destined for 'bigger things' such as contributing back to the society and helping others in need so she opted to choose medicine at IMU instead of pharmacy at a much more prestigious university in the UK. And she is currently happy and has absolutely no regrets at ever having made this decision. I know one shouldn't turn to religion in the hopes that God will help them achieve what they desire but nevertheless, it does help a lot to know that there is someone out there watching over you and ensuring that you will eventually make it through the darkness. So I actually do feel its quite comforting to engage in a prayer or two everday despite not being a Christian or not really having any kind of religion to help calm my nerves and enable me to achieve a state of tranquility and harmony as I definitely need a clear and strong mind right now to concentrate on my finals.

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