Three. Exams. Left.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Three. Exams. Left.

Yes, you read that right people! Three total exams left on the island of Dominica, which is so surreal to me. Stephen and I have been here for one year and and two months, and the time has actually flown by. If somebody has ever told you "ohh that is SO many years of school, do you really want to do that?" The time honestly flies from underneath you, and never ever let time be a factor in why you don't pursue something.

On that note, let me update you all in what has been happening this past month, as it has been about four weeks since I have last written. We have had two exams so far within fourth semester, and over 50% of our grade is now in the books. Fourth semester has such a different feeling to it, as you are constantly thinking about the COMP exam on August 19th, but Ross material has been so overwhelming lately. You feel guilty if you take time away from your usual studies for COMP, but then you know you need to start looking over older material. It sucks. Honestly. These past four weeks have been quite tough actually, I had a double ear infection about three weeks ago and I mentally and physically could not study as the pain was intense. I had to take about three days off, and three days off in medical school is about two weeks worth of material to catch up on. I got caught up [thankfully], and with our exam this past Wednesday,  I did well. Entering that exam, and seeing everyone else's faces, we are all so tired. This is a time of the semester, being our last one, that we all have to dig that much deeper. You have to find that reason why you are here, and visualize that moment when you get that "You have matched!" email, that is the one thought that has been getting me through lately.

With two exams down, and three more to go, which includes our last ever Ross facilitated exam, our NBME final, and then the dreaded COMP exam two weeks later. I have had a couple students one semester ahead of me write and say whatever you do, try and pass it the first time, as it only gets harder with subsequent attempts. We only get three times to take it [yikes] and with your third try, if you get above a 62% (which is still a fail), you can appeal with Ross to let them decide if you can take it a fourth time. If you fail your fourth are done. You will no longer be able to sit for Step 1, nor move on to become a physician. That is definitely nerve-wracking to say the least. Thankfully, I have such an amazing support group, that whenever my mind slowly goes down the path of freaking out, I am grounded by such awesome people to tell me something positive.

Ross University and MERP have been very good to me in the fact that they have shared my blog numerous times on their facebook pages and websites, and for that I am forever grateful. This past week I was featured about my blog and about being able to reach out to a vast number of students. I have gotten more messages and emails this past week than ever before, I love helping you guys so please keep the messages coming! My favourite question that I get asked would have to be: "Is it hard?" I am not sure the easiest way or the simplest way to say "AHH YES IT IS. IT IS VERY HARD" without sounding over dramatic, but people, it is medical school, of course it is hard. I feel really bad for this one person who wrote me last week, as there wasn't even a "hi" or "my name is... or "I just have a quick question!". It was honestly a one liner that stated: "Is Ross hard?". My response was literally: "Hi, yes Ross is hard, it is medical school, of course it's hard." <-- kinda snarky, right? I just got super annoyed with people thinking Ross is not hard, or that just because it is a Caribbean medical school that it MUST be different, it must be that much easier, and I can personally tell you that it is not. It is hard. It is the hardest academically that I have ever been challenged. Mentally and physically. You will get frustrated, you will get overwhelmed, you will question why you are here. But there are so many good days to go along with the bad. We had an amazing hospital visit in the first week where I got to go on rounds at the geriatric unit, talk to locals about their health, practice OSCE exams to get us ready for Step 2 CS, and at the end of the day, you have to remember that everyone down here on this island with you, is feeling the exact same thing. We are all in this together and that alone is strength in numbers...we all want each other to succeed, and we all want to get off this island successfully.

Alright folks, this is getting quite long, and it is not as "deep" or "intense" as I normally write, but I wanted to let all of you know that I am surviving, I am doing okay, and I am one step closer to being the physician that I want to be. If you need a sign to finally do something that you have wanted to do, then let this be it. DO IT. Take a deep breath, hit that submit button, and just get it done. Trust me, you will be so happy that you did! I am off to start my last block of the semester, okay Neurology, let's do this.

Bye for now,

-E xo

ps. Here is the link to my feature on Ross University's Website, it is also posted on the MERP website as well. Just click below!

pss. I am also thinking of creating a brand new website for my blog, so let me know what you guys think of that!

pss. 28,000 views?!?!?! You all are crazy! I love the love!