Month: December 2014

Stages of a Final Exam

Medical School Finals (as told by gifs)

1.)  Look at your grade and realize that if you do well on the final, you could have B’s and A’s in your classes.  Entrench yourself in the library in order to make that happen–after all, how much could you really have forgotten?  This won’t be hard.


2)  At first you feel good–you are motivated, and it turns out you remember more than you thought you would!  But then (duh duh duh)…you start looking over biochemistry and its like:


3.)  Ok, ok…don’t panic!  Everything is fine.  You have three days, and you are super smart.  You got into medical school, and you can get yourself out of it (or something like that).  You just have to buckle down.  Besides, do you really need an A?  No, of course not–B’s are more your style anyway.


4.) Oh, what is this physiology?  Did we even cover this material?  Quick, memorize as many smart sounding words as you can!  You only have two days left and you still have six more subjects–what have you been doing all this time?


4)  Biochem and Phys might have been a little rough, but you are doing microbiology now and YOU ROCK.  Only 24 hours to go and you have hit your stride!



5.)  But BAM!  You’ve hit the brick wall and lost all your motivation.  Where did it go? You swear you just had it, but suddenly the siren call of Facebook is nearly deafening.


6.)  But you have to power through.  You haven’t even made it through all of those anatomy clinical correlations you know will be on the test.  Just study until 10pm and you can stop.  Really, what would you learn after 10 anyway?  Just stick it out until then.


7.)  And suddenly its 8AM and you are about to start your very first medical school final!  This is going to go so well.  You studied so much.  And for the first couple of questions, it is as though you are a genius!  You know all of these answers!


8.)  But then you realize that YOU KNOW NOTHING.  Are these even words?  Why is no one else freaking out?


9)  Then you hit that moment where you are so close to the end that you seriously consider answering “C” for the last 20 questions and heading home early.


10.)  It was totally worth it!  Two weeks of studying cumulating in an 8 hour final exam and YOU ARE DONE!  Give yourself a pat on the back and sleep for the next three days!


Merry Christmas everyone!  Starting now, I refuse to talk about anything involving school until the new semester starts!


Final Exams and Other Horrifying Events

Merry Christmas!  Happy Holidays!

I don’t know how it got to be December.  I feel like I blinked and months passed me by.  Medical school messes with your sense of time.  It seems like just yesterday that I writing about my white coat ceremony, but at the same time I seems like years since I found out I had gotten into medical school.

Now, suddenly, it is time for finals and I feel like my feet got knocked out from under me.  The last week has been a disorienting whirlwind of exams, lab practicals, clinical experiences, quizzes, and assessments. This weekend I will pick myself off the floor (where I am still lying after being knocked down by the physiology case presentation that I have this afternoon) and begin the 3 day process of studying for my 6th block exam Monday morning.


“Oh good!” I hear you saying. ” You will be done on Monday!”

No, kind soul. I will not. After a short nap, I will then begin the grueling process of studying for my finals (four days later). Understand that I have been in school since the second week of July–that’s roughly twenty weeks worth of classes to study.  The theme of finals here at medical school seems to be “you will take this beating and you will like it!”


The most difficult aspect of this last week has been than I didn’t have any time to unwind.  As soon as I finished one practical, I had to start studying for the quiz the next day.  I never realized how desperately I needed my half hour mental break to watch TV/troll the internet.  It starts to mess with you if all you ever talk/think about are the etiological agents that cause parasitic gastritis.  Looking at all those horrifying images of clinical presentations is giving me weird dreams (when I have time to sleep, that is).


Yes, I am complaining about this a little.  I’m tired right now, and I have days of work ahead of me.  But the funny thing is that I don’t feel any more exhausted at the thought of finals in medical school than I did in undergrad (and I promise you, medical school is infinitely harder than undergrad).  Adaptation is an amazing thing, right?  Final exams are a fate accompli that I have simply accepted as unavoidable.

After finals, I get a whole two weeks off, when I can sleep in as long as I want and never open a text book.  I can see my family and friends.  I will frantically try to get Christmas gifts together and binge-read all the books I have been longing for.  I will see the final instillation of the Hobbit and argue with my cousins about what we liked and disliked.  I will be normal for two weeks.

But until then I will be in the library if you need me.  Don’t wake me if I fall asleep on my notes–there’s a chance I could be learning by osmosis while I dream.  Wish me luck–when I am done you will be reading the blog of someone who is 1/8 of the way through medical school!