Monday, June 6, 2016
** Let's out the longest sigh of life** "Ahhhhhhhh"
Hi followers! It is 6:45pm and this morning at 7:30am I had my LAST first exam on the island here at Ross! [That actually sounds surreal to say]. I remember sitting in my very first class at MERP back in December of 2014, and the amount of time that has passed, the amount of information that I have learned, and the friends that I have made are all just amazing and I can not picture myself anywhere else right now. That is a pretty cool feeling to have.
I did an amazing MERP webinar last week where I signed on and chatted to prospective students about the program and asked a lot of questions pertaining to MERP Toronto and how I felt the program has benefited me. This was my third webinar that I have been asked to sign on for, and the first time that I have mentioned my blog to students! I had about ten new followers quite quickly and about five messages so a quick shout out to those people! Thanks for following and welcome!
So let's chat about this exam this morning. In one word: "WHOA". Four weeks of material, cardiovascular pathology, respiratory pathology, microbiology, pharmacology, clinical medicine, behavioral science, and ...nope...I think that's it. Can you say a lot of material? These past four weeks on the island have been the busiest so far for me, and I know that I say that with almost every mini, but really guys, these past four weeks I wanted to cry...a lot. Here was my last week just as an example before the exam today.
Monday: Class: 8am-4pm
Tuesday: Hospital visit at Princess Margaret Hospital in Roseau: 6:30am-6:00pm
Wednesday: Class: 8am-3pm
Thursday: AIST practical session: 7am-9am, MERP Webinar 7pm-8pm
Friday: Class: 8am-4pm
So you are probably thinking, "how do you even have time to study?". I am not going to lie on this one, this was a fight. This was a fight as soon as my feet hit the soil in Dominica. I knew that Semester 4 was tough for a lot of students. I do not know if it is the time on the island thus far, the burnt out, the stress, the thinking "what if" for so many different reasons, but Semester 4 is one that many students do not forget. I knew I had my hospital visit early, and I knew it was right before my exam...so I planned. I planned hard. I knew that I had to get up with the intention to finish the material that day, and I would not go to bed until I have done so. Surprisingly, I ended up going to bed around 11pm/11:30pm every night and then getting up at 6am. The biggest piece of advice that I can give to any student, that is not necessarily even in medical school, but any professional degree, that there is a massive difference with "studying long hours" and "studying smart". I always listen to my body, I always go to bed when my brain is tired. I always eat when I am hungry, and I do not drink those nasty energy drinks. I fuel my body as that is the only way to survive. I am an athlete first and foremost and if I know that my body and mind are not feeling 100%, then I know I will not be able to do well. Like Steve always says to me when he knows I am exhausted and needing to eat: "You never put diesel in a Ferrari."
I have gotten about twenty messages and ten instagram messages last week, which I do love answering [so please keep them coming], about the topic of "how do you do it?" It took me a couple days to find the right answer to that question, as I feel like work ethic, perseverance, and grit are all inherently engineered within me. You just have to want it. You have to want this more than anything you have put your mind to, you have to put aside all distractions, doubt, suspicion, and believe that this is where you belong. I had the nicest message from a fellow follower that said: "your lust for life is so inspiring!" Wow. That was such a compliment because I feel like I am a major pessimist at times and I am working really hard in changing my mindset, so thank you for that message. I absolutely love helping people and getting to them where they need to be, I care a lot. I love our clinical practice exams, as even though the patients are not real patients, I really pretend that they are. On my practical final last semester I ended up getting 100%, as I pretended that this girl really had a terrible migraine that was ruining her every day activities. I believed her and I wanted to help. After I was done, she said that was the best patient-physician interview that she has ever experienced, all because I truly wanted to help her. Medicine is a passion that you have to have within you, no one can make you sit in a classroom for eight hours, then go home and study for eight more. No one can tell you to care, you have to want to care. No one can tell you this is your passion when YOU don't believe it is, because it is too long of a road to be doing it for someone else. Trust me. I love being here. I love Ross. I am thankful for Ross for giving me the opportunity to study medicine.
Like I said on the webinar last week: "My MCAT sucked, my GPA was a 3.5/4.0 which was mediocre for Canadian medical schools, but I have gotten Dean's List all semesters that I have been here, started a brand new club on campus, and won the Ross School of Medicine Scholarship for the 16/17 year, so it does not matter my previous grades, I am kicking butt at medical school and that is all that matters."
On that note, I am off to finish my glass of wine [okay my second glass for the night] and watch a much needed movie to relax my brain. Thank you for reading this massive post, it may or may not be the wine talking ;) Have a good Monday night everyone!
Bye for now,