I had my second medical school exam last Friday. It was tough and I didn’t prepare in a way that was any good for my mental health. Excess caffeine, lack of sleep and panic prevented me from doing my best, but part of this situation was as a result of knowing that there was a lot of content that I needed to know which I just didn’t. Anyone familiar with how Medical School works will know that there is always something more that you could learn, something that you don’t know the answer to. Perfectionists are often drawn into becoming medical students and this can become problematic. You only need to get 50% to pass. But to know 50% of the shear amount of content that they throw at you can be overwhelming. School taught you that there were things that you needed to know and things that you didn’t. Those limitations don’t apply in this world. Before Medical School you are used to aiming for 100% or close to it. Regardless of whether or not I get 50% or over in this exam, I can’t help but feel that I failed.
It’s ridiculous and irrational. I feel embarrassed and ashamed that there was so much that I didn’t know. But what I am proud of is the fact that I am still going. I am using the feeling of failure to encourage me to study harder and make sure that I can be the best that I can be. I know that I am no longer the girl that gets 100%, but I can be the best me that I can be.
I am now also regularly wearing shorter sleeves and exposing my scarred arms. I do feel ‘other’ in the Medical School sphere but I am embracing it. I may not be typical, but at least I am me; whoever that may be!