Ok so the school didn't pick the best evening to start the class but I figured I'd go anyway, not like I had any other plans from 1900-2300h (ha!) This first session was basically a getting-to-know what we are up against and how to prepare for the exam. It was taught by Dr. Stephen Daugherty via web from Chicago, and moderated by a techie in London. Needless to say we had some technical difficulties and it resulted in him being mic'd through a cell phone for the presentation, but, it worked.
He's actually a very good presenter and I found 90% of his talk interesting and helpful (pretty hilarious in parts as well). His background is in psychology and he appears to have a special interest in
One thing that really resounded for me though was at the end of the lecture he was talking about successes and failures, mainly around the theme of success on the exam, of course. With that, he made an excellent point, he said that success in medicine (i.e. acing the USMLE) isn't something to be celebrated, it is a splinter that has been removed. It really isn't as pessimistic as it sounds, and I chuckled at the accuracy of the statement. Why didn't someone say that to me TEN YEARS AGO???
For a long long long loooooonnnnnnngggg time I thought that the MCAT was the pinnacle for me. It was like this really big, frightening, monster exam with teeth that dripped blood of recent pre-med wannabes. It seemed like such an obstacle that it took me several years of stalling, starting another career, and studying other things in university before I could muster up the nerve to even attempt the pre-requisites for medical school...then write the MCAT.
Once the denouement of that story was behind me things quickly shifted to the next false summit, getting IN.
Hell. That was a year from hell. The application process and the waiting is horrible. I'd already been rejected once before a few years ago by all the schools that didn't require an MCAT. But, now I felt I'd gotten over what once seemed a nearly impossible event--completing all the pre-requisites and the MCAT. That (massive victory for me) was pretty much lost in the chaos of submitting applications.
Then I got rejected at most schools and got accepted by a few. And I really thought that I'd achieved *the ultimate*. My life-long goal, right? MEDICAL SCHOOL.
Does this sound like I lacked even a shred of self awareness or insight to anyone but me? I honestly shake my head at how absurd it sounds while I write it out. But my profile rant alludes to the discovery that was on the horizon for me. Things don't become PERFECT when you realize a long-term goal. It just means that itch has finally been scratched. That sliver has been pulled out.
And there is another horizon, far far off that my eyes are fixed on now. And things are still frustrating, and upsetting, and annoying sometimes. Things didn't suddenly fall into place for me the day I started medical school. Life is wonderful and challenging and funny and stupid and unpredictable just like it was the entire time I was staring at that false summit of getting in. I'm not saying that I don't appreciate that I have achieved something to be where I am today. What I took a while to discover though is the truth behind the enjoying the journey mentality.
It's good now that I have a different perspective on this, because I catch myself falling back into the "can't wait until" fantasy world. These fantasies about acing the USMLE, or landing the ultimate residency and how things will be so much better then. But they won't be, necessarily. I say that because really, my life was great 5 years ago, my life is great today, and hopefully my life will be great 5 years.
And for now, I just have this sliver in my paw. A big one called "Christmas exams" and another one called "USMLE".
Rant done. Sleep required.