Friday, May 27, 2011

USMLE Step 1-pocalypse.

Or: The day medical Boards took 10 years off my life. 

I had a bad dream about this once. That the power shut down in the middle of my big exam.


I was 12 questions (twelve! of 322!) away from being completely done, that's 7.5 hours in, and the power went out. The room just went dark. We all looked around. Someone swore. I won't say it wasn't me. I mean, what do you do? We came out and just waited hoping it would come back on and we'd figure out what to do. The proctors were scrambling, but not really talking to us about what would happen. 

Questions were asked like, 
"What if we have to take it over again?" 
"What if our scores don't count?" 
"What am I going to do? I have to leave town tomorrow." 
"Does this mean we have to delay our third year?"

And statements made like,
"I'm not doing this again."
"I'll sue." 
"I'll drop out of med school."
"I haven't seen my son in days. I cannot study anymore."

And from me, "I think I'm going to be sick."

When it came back everything was saved and we were able to finish from where we started, but I'm running so high on norepinephrine and other various panic signals right now - I'm beyond drained. 

We're reasonably certain our scores will still count, though I think it does register with the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) as an "aberration." I feel sick thinking about the possibility of not really being done, but it should work out. Our administration and the NBME have both been notified, and I'm sure they'll work it out the best they can. 

Suffice it to say I'm a major stress case right now. 

Add to the technical problems, I also felt just not that good about it. 

It's a hard test. It's supposed to be, and I made some smart guesses I'm sure, but it felt hard. Very. 

So yes. I ate well at least. Unfortunately with all the nervousness this breakfast didn't exactly stay with me, if you know what I mean. 

Banana Almond Butter Oats

Here's what I had for snack-meals on breaks. It's definitely a good idea to eat a little bit more often as opposed to a big meal during a full-day test. And it was 2 of those thermoses of coffee. Got to titrate that caffeine and keep it at a steady level. 

English muffin PBJ, 2 apples, 2 carrots, Odwalla protein bar, Coke Vanilla Zero. 

And now, although I don't exactly feel relieved, I'm going to take a little time to let it all go, be with some friends, and celebrate the end of this saga. 

No matter what, I'm on vacation for the next 2 weeks. Pretty soon I'll start to enjoy that fact. 

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