Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Juggling Medical School

early Egyptian juggling art :en:fr:Image:Jongl...

I'd like to begin this afternoon with a word of thanks to readers who've dropped by the past few days, especially knowing there wouldn't be anything new. That was awfully thoughtful and I appreciate it very much. I've finished my exam and all I can say is, I hope I passed.

In the first weeks of medical school there are all kinds of expectations about academic performance. Students accustomed to high grades anticipate academic excellence, others just hope to keep their heads above water and avoid failure. Eventually, the demands on time and energy, as well as the volume of material, combine to level the playing field. By the time they've gotten to the end of the second year, many recognize the greatest achievement lies in simply passing.

It's not that we become careless or cavalier about grades. Far from it: the tension in the classroom at exam time is so thick it almost clings to your clothes like the scent of overly-used perfume. But, we begin this process juggling the equivalent of two balls and as each month passes, more are added until finally, we feel like we're juggling dozens and we're relieved when we complete a course without dropping any.

True, we get better at juggling, but there's always the concern that one might get away from us. And that's why passing is such a great thing. We've kept our wits, managed the pressure, and lived to fight another day. I suspect it's for this reason I've often thought medical students should get along very well with war veterans. We're survivors; we've faced our worst fears and despite everything, we're still here.

(Just in: I did pass.)

Image via Wikipedia
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...