Oct 15, 2007


First exam: Physio.

Having heard this was a notoriously difficult exam, I devoted a pretty disproportionate amount of my study time to this so that I would feel REALLY confident when I took the test, understand the concepts, be able to extrapolate, and all that.

Yeah... that exam was so bloody difficult, it made the MCAT seem like an "Is he that into you?" Teen Beat magazine quizlet. And the weird thing is that except for the like 20 minutes of yesterday I spent reviewing heart sounds and EKGs (you know you're in trouble when calculating the mean electrical axis of the heart is the EASY part of the exam), I have no idea how I could have studied differently or better for it. The seven HOURS of yesterday I spent dedicated to understanding all the relationships didn't seem to help, but it's also not like the quiz was full of minutia. I don't even know how to categorize it. 17th order type questions that required a form of logic I'm not sure I have... can you just let me be a doctor yet? I promise I won't be a heart doctor!

What also didn't help was that the test was exhausting. Halfway into it I wanted to be done, and not like "Gee, I wish I weren't taking a test" kind of done, but a "My brain is overloaded and I'm getting to the point where I don't even CARE what the answers are anymore." For every question, I ended up feeling like I knew about 85% of what the question was talking about, and understood what it was, and what it related to, but when it came to that final "So then, what color are the bus driver's eyes?" endgame, that bridging connection just wasn't there. So I dunno. I would have preferred the Histo approach with "Hmmm... had time to cover that lecture. Know the answers. Hmm... did not even LOOK at that lecture once, thus am completely justified and comfortable with getting every one of those questions wrong... because I didn't earn it."

This one, it was more like going to work for a couple weeks, doing your best, and then they just decide not to give you a paycheck this time around. You earned it, but too bad. Unfortunately, neither medical school, nor likely the USMLEs, let you by on what you EARNED. Instead, it's on what you KNOW. Whether that takes 20 minutes or 20 years.

What's weird is that tests with 150 questions, while grueling, were much less so. Know it or don't. Next question. Not "I know most of this, so let me spend 10 minutes working out three perfectly logical conclusions to this problem, and have all three of them be answer choices." I also kept having those moments Dr. Curry joked about with us last term where you read the question with the answers covered, feel confident in an answer, and then realize that the "right" answer isn't there. Awesome.

And two more exams to go! On the plus side, if I don't fail physio completely (as in the final), I don't have to LOOK at cardiovascular again until the USMLE. Hallelujah.

No comments: