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.