Tuesday, November 16, 2010

All I Want for Christmas

A Danish Christmas tree illuminated with burni...
Well, I’m back on my patio for two more nights and then it’s off to Maine. It was odd, driving back to Champaign, Illinois this evening, knowing I had little more to do than write, pack, and say goodbye to new friends. 

Now that my exam is finished, there’s really no reason to be here, but I still feel rather like I’m leaving home. For one thing, this apartment has been home for eight weeks that have seemed more like eight months. I have an idea I’m going to need several posts to sort it all out.

In the meantime, I’d like to begin tonight by offering a sincere word of thanks to everyone who has stopped by these past weeks to see if I’d posted anything new or if not, to read something old. It was very affirming and truthfully, I took it as supportive, and have appreciated it very much. As much as I've wanted to write and thought about it, as my exam date drew closer I could do little else but study.

It wasn't exactly what you'd call a strategy, but I think it was a sound one, even though results won't be available until mid-December. As tortuous as that sounds, it’s the fate of all medical students, whether they take the osteopathic Comlex or the USMLE. And no matter how well you think or hope you may have done, there is really no way to know with any certainty until scores are mailed. Every test has easy questions, harder ones, and those that seem impossible, so the outcome is always up in the air.

What I can say, in retrospect, is I felt better prepared than ever before. A very good friend from my entering class, who is now a family medicine resident in central Maine, has told me he knew he was ready for boards when he couldn’t stand to open another book. Two days ago I can safely say, I knew exactly what he meant. I’d taken a formal practice exam, done well, and despite being so consumed with study that even this morning I was looking over viral infections once more, I was eager to be done.

My father would say, it’s all over but the shouting, and I hope it's exactly that way. I’m so ready to begin rotations, to see real patients in a real healthcare setting, to make mistakes and learn all that I don’t know. Passing will be the best thing and Santa, if you’re reading this, just know that's about all I want for Christmas this year.

(GNU Free Documentation image via Wikipedia)
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