Sunday, August 29, 2010


"One had to cram all this stuff into one's mind for the examinations, whether one liked it or not. This coercion had such a deterring effect on me that, after I had passed the final examination, I found the consideration of any scientific problems distasteful to me for an entire year."  -Albert Einstein

Yeah.  About that.  See, at one time I *loved* school.  When I was in undergrad, I took practice standardized tests for fun!!  (I already told you I was a nerd.)  Then came the MCAT.  I crammed so hard and was so stressed for that one exam that my psyche was permanently scarred.

I was waitlisted at first, and began grudgingly preparing to take the MCAT again.  But luckily, I was accepted and did not have to repeat the exam!  Imagine my excitement!

I was a fool.

Sorry to burst the bubbles of any pre-meds out there, but med school is hard.  And unforgiving.  And it doesn't care if you have ADHD and get distracted by shiny objects when you should be focusing on the pathways of lipid metabolism.    The entire first year, I felt as if I were drowning, and that every time I came up for a gasp of air, some exam would come batter me over the head until I was once again submerged and hopeless.

And you know what the worst part is?  You can't cry for help.  A drowning person can shout, and people will swiftly come to the rescue.  But in med school, if you say that you're struggling, the professors think that you're not trying hard enough and your classmates think you're stupid and then start talking behind your back.  "Did you hear about that Em?  She made a C on the last exam!!  haha, I haven't made lower than a 92 all year!  She must be stupid, those questions were easy!!"

But they don't know what it's like.   They can just sit down and study for four hours straight...and be really productive for four hours straight!  When *I* sit down to study for four hours, I usually get distracted after about 15 minutes.  Then a few minutes later I'll come to the sharp realization that I'm staring into space, bouncing up and down on my exercise ball, and not at all retaining information.  This cycle repeats itself ad nauseum.  They don't know what it's like to have to shove information into a brain that's behaving like a toddler being forced to eat Gerber's spinach + peaches + rice cereal.  It is so tiring, having to constantly fight mind and body to be still enough and focused enough to read through a lecture packet. 

Don't get me wrong...I still like learning, and I do find the human body fascinating.  It's just so hard to keep the pace expected by the professors.  And that engenders frustration and despair.

The sad thing is, I can't imagine doing anything else with my life.  While I'm sure I have the ability to be successful at almost any other career, I know I won't be happy doing anything else but medicine.  So I will continue to endure one soul-bashing exam after another until I get that damn MD, or die trying.


1 comment:

  1. I had a *touch* of dyslexia going thru my school/college years... :( and had to work extra hard at my studies....
    It is a challenge but it can be done...! :) Keep at it...and I love your blog btw! Thanks for the add!:)