Monday, 6 October 2008

Leaving everything on the track

So this is it.

My bags are packed, my shoes are polished and soon I’ll be heading off to the capital to sit the second part of the FRCA Primary exam. Two oral exams and one 90-minute OSCE stand between me and the “pass” that I need to go on to become an anaesthetics registrar (or ST3 in new money).

I have to say that I’m not feeling too frightened or nervous by the prospect of having my knowledge picked apart by the RCoA examiners. I’ve been working incredibly hard over the last couple of weeks and to be honest with you, I’m REALLY fed up with it all. I’m sick of the sight of my textbooks and I can’t wait for it to all be over – for better or for worse.

With this exam I’ve realised that I’m not going to be able to know everything that they could possibly ask. I reckon that you could spend half a lifetime studying physiology and still get flummoxed by a question on some random cytokine and same applies to pharmacology. My simple aim has been to try and know enough about enough subjects to pass this exam. I have to say that I’m feeling quietly confident about it at the moment and I reckon that if I manage to keep my composure (easier said than done!), with a little bit of luck I should hopefully be OK. Of course, I’m just speculating – I won’t really know this until the results are published at 2pm on Friday.

I remember watching the Usain Bolt breaking the legendary Michael Johnson’s 200m world record in the summer and in an interview afterwards he said something really telling.

“The night before that 200 metres final I told my room-mate,
Maurice Smith, ‘I'm going to leave everything out there on the track

He “left everything on the track.” He gave it his all and didn’t hold anything back at all.

In some ways I too feel I’m giving this exam my very best shot. I’ve used all my study leave and I’ve racked up over 100 hours of study in the last three weeks alone. I’ve really tried my hardest to cram as much as I can into my skull, but despite this I’m all to aware that there is a hell of a lot that I still don’t know. I’m going to give this my very best effort and I hope that it will be good enough.

The problem with “leaving everything on the track” is that I don’t know what I’ll do if I fail this exam. Like I say, I could hardly have worked harder for it, so failure kind of leaves me with nowhere left to go. But I’m not really contemplating failure at the moment to be honest, the prospect of having to pick myself up and put myself through all this again makes me feel physically ill. I’m not really into rap music but I think Eminem spoke volumes on “Lose Yourself” when he said “…success is my only motherfucking option – failure’s not…”

Whatever happens, I shall be glad when it’s all over.


madsadgirl said...

What can one say, except 'Good Luck'? You have worked hard at your books, so let us hope that the examiners are kind to you and ask the things that you know well.

At least you don't have to wait too long to find out the results. I'll have my fingers crossed for you.

Flossy said...

All the best! Remember, if you think you know it all, you're a conceited little p***k!!!! I'm sure you'll be absolutely fine! Let us know how it went?

Stormy said...

By the way this is fantastically written; simple, concise and unpretentious. Reminds me of the series 'Bodies' based on that book written by the ex-house officer dude.
I was considering doing the same thing but concerned as to whether certain individuals would haul my ass up to some sort of medical tribunal, regardless of the attempts to conceal patient/hospital/staff identity.

anna gregory said...

good luck

The Welsh Pharmacist said...

Good luck bro.

Although I'm not sure why you need to shine your shoes to sit an exam.

Elaine said...

Best of luck - you deserve it. Now, remember and relax and smile as you look at the faces of the examiners...

H J said...

as above, there's nothing to say but good luck! :) take heart in the fact that many others before you have sat the same tests and PASSED, or else there wouldnt be registrars, consultants or (dare i say it) examiners to question you!

can't wait for your next update!

Kayleigh said...

Good Luck for your exam, let us know how it went. Your writing style is fantastic, you really are inspirational. Can't wait for your next post.
I'm sure your hard work will pay off!

Anonymous said...

Hi there

Just started reading your blog today, it's well addictive.

If the exams for FRCA are so difficult then I wonder what FRCS exams must be like! I'm sort of thinking about surgery but I'm just a second year medic right now so I guess I have a bit of time.

I hope your exams go/went well. OSCEs are particularly nerve-wracking I think. Best of luck mate.


Canuckian's Evil Twin said...

well it's now friday and your results will be up in a few fingers and toes are crossed for you. :o)

Jo said...

Hope it all went really well (just read this after coming back from holiday)