Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Finito Mosquito

It was a rush. It was not anticlimactic at all.

I had been warning myself not to build up in my mind the last moments of medical school and the thrill of being done. So many milestones have felt disappointingly bland once they were reached.

Well it turns out that finishing medical school is not one of those milestones.

After a week from absolute hell (which I will get into once my medical degree is firmly planted in my hand) I arrived on Thursday morning for the last set of OSCE's (clinical exams). It was 12 five minute stations of medical or surgical skills. My last station was giving discharge instructions to a patient and when the buzzer rang, the actor patient stood up and shook my hand to say, "Well done!! You're done!!" The examiner said "Congrats!" and I emerged from the cubicle to see my friend, JM standing there with a huge grin on his face.

JM was the very first person I met in our class. We met in Toronto while taking the elevator up to our interviews. He surmised that I was there for the same reason and asked me where I was from, what I did for a living etc. When I told him I was living in Whistler, working in the emergency department there he stopped me and said, "Wait, so you live in Whistler, you have a job you love, yet you're planning on giving it all up to move to a different country and become hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt to be a doctor? Why?"

Well, when you put it that way. I had thought about his comment many, many times during the last 4 years. Why, indeed.

So when I saw his face as I stepped out of my last station I had to chuckle at the perfect end to medical school. We gave each other a rib-crushing hug and he said in my ear, "You know why this is a perfect finish don't you?"

I laughed and cried a little and said "YES! You were the first person I met on this journey!"

Then I randomly hugged a few other bewildered, exhausted, adrenaline frazzled classmates...I may have pounced on a few invigilator bystanders as well. It is all a bit of a blur.

We were then put in a 'holding tank' room in the hotel for over an hour as the other groups of students hadn't gone in for their exams yet. We weren't allowed to use our phones so as not to text anyone what cases were in the OSCE. I came prepared though. One little bottle of Champagne in my handbag which was quietly popped and then poured into the coffee cups they had provided for tea. A "CHEERS!" and few gulps to my pals that were also in the group. Shortly after the Prof of Medicine arrived and was asking us how it went. We were gathered in little groups chatting away, so when he approached we had just finished our Champagne. He said, "Are you having drinks soon?"

"Er.....well yes! In fact we've already had a little Champagne!"

You could see him mulling over this fact...hmmm are they allowed to have alcohol? This is an exam...hmmm...it's only 1030h...

Then he said, "Of COURSE you've already had Champagne! You're DONE! Good thinking on packing some in advance!!"


We were set free.

I went and had an Indian head massage (best idea ever) at the spa, and spent the afternoon in the steam rooms and saunas with my dear friend, Emma.

The evening contained all the predictable events. Champagne. Great dinner out. Drinks at pub. Eventually going to Nancy's (the bar I LOVE to HATE). Having a drunk Irishman spill an entire pint of Guinness on me. Heading home with soaking wet jeans and a blister from my high heels.

And then it was over.

But I know it isn't the end. As a friend of mine on FB said, it isn't even the beginning of the end! 


Anne said...

Congratulations! Hurray! and--it's Wonderful!

PGYx said...

Congratulations! So pleased to hear you are moving along the path. Hope you get some time to relax and have fun before you start residency!

nurse 8 said...

Hooray!!! Looking forward to albino black bear, resident, the blog. From one nurse to another, congratulations!!! <3

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Great job!

Erin said...

Wait a minute... Doctors learn how to give discharge instructions?

Seriously, congrats.