Med school as a roller coaster.

Oh, damn. As soon as I wrote the title for this post I realized that I am, in fact, using what I thought was a very, very trite simile when it was presented to us at our first-year orientation. What is worse is that I’m saying that the simile is true. I hate when I am one of a crowd, or when I reiterate what other people have said already.

So yes, during orientation, one very kind student affairs dean told us that medical school would probably be like a roller coaster. Before exams would be our very lowest lows, and afterwards we would be flying high — only to drop down again in like six weeks. To be honest it was not a very inspiring speech, and I remember thinking to myself, “That won’t happen to me.”

Lo and behold, alas, alack, etc., for here I am, feeling woefully pitiful for myself, when just seven hours ago today I felt fine. About seven hours ago I felt like I really knew my shit. I presented in my anatomy lab and I knew every answer, not only to my question but to the other ones that were asked too. I took a practice exam and I did well. I looked at my notes and felt like I had all the material pretty much down, and, foolishly, didn’t even know what to study.

Then I took another practice exam and got like 80% of it wrong. I looked up the answers and they were things I knew at one point, or things I should’ve known, or even things I knew but just plain screwed up on. I experienced emotional stress as well, and handled it even more poorly than I probably would’ve at another time, because studying and forcing myself to study is wearing me out. And I’m resorting to drugs (okay, Tylenol PM) to get me to sleep.

I never thought of myself as an emotionally unstable person, but maybe I’ve been fooling myself for years. I hate drama, yet here I am being dramatic. I could be (and was, for the past year) at an easy job making a perfectly decent living, instead of putting myself through this stress. Most of the time I think it’s not so bad, but right now, in the eleventh hour, I find myself wondering, is it really worth it?



  1. M Dyspnea said,

    September 17, 2006 at 2:01 pm

    welcome to medical school.

  2. nosugrefneb said,

    September 17, 2006 at 7:06 pm

    I have to agree with M Dyspnea. But, on the bright side, you’ll be done with first year before you know it, and it’ll feel like no time passed at all. Same goes for second year. I hope you’ll find that it most definitely is worth it in the end.

  3. prophylactix said,

    September 29, 2006 at 9:07 am

    Time does fly by quickly. I think most students do question whether it’s all worth it…so you’re definitely not alone in that department. Keep at it, kid. Things do get better…or you can at least pretend they do 😉

  4. Mayhem said,

    October 16, 2006 at 3:49 pm

    I fully agree with this: “…at least you can pretend they do?”

    You’ll never understand how many of my colleagues ( and me) walk around in perpetual denial. Denial is your friend. Embrace it! Take it to dinner! Buy a ring and propose! Ok ok I’ll stop it. Yeah, med school has its down times but when things are good, they’re really good. Just look at this as a temporary detour. Besides the time will fly by and your trusty brain will simply edit out the awful parts and you’ll only remember the good times.

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