Being Flexible

Stephanie, Second Year Medical StudentI feel like it’s been forever since I’ve done a blog…….I know this mostly because it took me awhile to find the right page to type this blog up (I have this unbelievably difficult time getting to this page even when the other page is “hidden” – more often than not I still post to that site, lol).

SO….for second years the second test week is OVER!  It was a crazy couple of weeks leading up to the exams, but I’m happy to say I have come out on the other side alive (and still somewhat functional) and passing.  The big lesson from this set of tests was the importance of being flexible.

Everyone knows that a good majority of medical students are at least borderline OCD (actually they are more OC-P-D, but that is an entirely different explanation).  That being said, it is hard but VERY important to remember to be willing to be flexible – I think this skill will serve us well as practicing doctors but it has also proven important in medical school.

We were told about a week into the last set of material that there were going to be some changes to our testing format.  Normally we are tested with integrated tests where any question from any class can show up on our computer screen at any time as we click through the questions.  This time, HOWEVER, we were given PAPER, SUBJECT exams!  While this may not seem like a big change….it was HUGE!  It basically meant three things:

  1. We had to know the subjects for each test day as well as we possibly could (there was no going home and studying up on the topics that seem to be the most important based on day 1 questions).
  2. We had to actually fill in bubbles on a Scantron (normally all recorded electronically).  This was stressful for me (and my roommate agreed) because there are times when you just wonder if maybe you didn’t get the bubble just right and the machine counted it wrong (or an incorrect answer wasn’t erased fully or something like that).
  3. Once we finished testing each morning there were two more subjects that we didn’t have to think about until classes started back up again (this was a VERY good feeling 🙂 ).

All in all I would say the change went pretty well – did better in some classes than others, as expected.  The kicker though is the fact that this change (which by the way completely uprooted my study style for pre-test weekend) is only temporary.  There is a chance we will have another set of exams in this style, but eventually things will return to normal…….learning to be flexible………and patient :).

On a lighter note….here are some pictures of the relaxing/thoroughly enjoyable weekend I had with my husband and some great friends – we went to the Stanford vs. USC game!!

One thought on “Being Flexible

  1. I don’t know about you, but these paper exams were MUCH better. I like being able to scratch notes on the page, cross out incorrect answers, underline buzz words in the question, etc. And I understand what they are trying to do with integrated testing, but I think that works for the boards, after you have had an entire two years, plus a blank month to study for it. It doesn’t necessarily work when you are being tested over something you just learned, with some material less than a week old. Just my 2 cents. Maybe I’ll write a blog about it sometime haha. 🙂

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