By now, I have failed more exams than what my two hands can count. I have failed quizzes, long exams, and as I am fully aware of by now, three of my subjects. I don't think it is overreacting to describe med as torturous, nakakasabaw ng utak, mentally and physically draining. Shifting week had been studying at the wee hours of the morning, sleeping for about 2-3 hours, crawling to school to take a mind-contorting exam, and repeating the cycle for five days straight. It's plain doomsday if you find yourself having eight hours of solid of sleep. Personally, I knew med school would be physically and mentally demanding, but have not imagined it to be this extent.
I'm not proud to brandish my failures. And I do not mean to make rationalizations either-- that it's always a barrage of quizzes every week, that its difficult, or the passing rate is too high, that there are numerous reportings, requirements for submission, chapters to read, stuff to memorize, research, analyze and a whole mound of other things to do. After all, this is what I signed up for. Nobody said that medicine would be easy or that it would be a jolly, prancing dance in the park. I have accepted from the get go that I have no right to complain, and along with it, is the inevitability of failure.
Overall, I find med a humbling experience. Obssessive-Compulsive overachievers would find their pride skinned with a bread knife. I don't remember the last time I felt this inadequate, and so short of standards required of school. More than that, med has introduced me to gazillion of things I do not understand, I do not know, or not even have the slightest idea about. Consolidation of concepts, pathways, histological and anatomical learnings, is still another story.
I love medicine in that it has awakened me to complexities that are yet to be learned. Yes I may be failing my exams but I know I am slowly growing as a doctor, both in the intellectual and personal sense. I know it may be impossible to understand everything for the moment, like when I resort to memorizing when my brain is blacking out from studying straight. But everyday is just a rich learning experience that no information or realization, regardless of what area or subject, is futile.
PLM's passing rate of 75% may be like walking the plank, especially if you're being fired canon balls of information every day, every week, memorizing anatomical parts, nerves, muscles and an endless list of stuff that may spill off to the next post if don't contain my writing. But really, who wants a doctor who makes mistakes? Med school may be the best for us to commit errors, but its no training ground for us to be error prone either.
Much as I would like to write something buttery, sweet and fluffy about med, I'm afraid there's nothing buttery, sweet or fluffy about it. It may be difficult, but I know it would be worth it when time comes that lives depend on me. Stories of rainbows and butterflies would have to wait. For now I will just have writhe well enough to pass.
(Med School FYI: A shifting period is equivalent to one grading period, think elementary 1st grading, 2nd and so on and so forth)