After weeks of studying, it had come down to this day: the surgery oral examination. Historically, it has remained one of the most challenging exams in third year. It covers a wide variety of subspecialties to great depth; of course, who can forget the intimidation factor of a face to face interrogation?
I went into the first station, sheer terror gripping tight my heart with icy fingers, knowing full well what merciless horrors senior students had suffered in this hour in years past. I hoped I was up to the job.
I was not prepared for what I was about to endure.
From the moment I was seated and the timer started, the questions lay siege. An unrelenting torrent that had me choking and drowning in my own words. The surgeons meticulously picked apart my answers and showed me how wrong some of my answers were.
It was a sorry sight indeed; the other stations were no better.
I felt embarrassed, shamed and defeated. I had not only come face to face with the expectations of the surgeon and fell well short, but I had come face to face with my own. Worse than the biting comments of a surgeon was knowing that I had let myself down.
Having said that, the entire exam took me to that space that is often talked about but not always explored: the space of the unknown. The surgeons today forced me inwards and ripped from the depths of my mind the large voids in my knowledge. And though the experience getting there was not a pleasant one, I must move past this and press onward with the hope that I can retrace my steps to this sacred place in my knowledge scape and rebuild.
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- mistressofsurgery said: hang in there tom! i’m sure you’re doing wonderfully <3
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- francisidada said: What are questions you were peppered with or do med school ethics prevent you from sharing?
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- echomemadness said: Hold on. You can do it, dude.
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