Recently, I took my first set of medical school exams. I have been studying my butt off and was hopeful that my effort would be reflected in my grades.
A few days ago, I found out that I failed both exams.
I wanted to share my setback here, partly because I created this space to write about my highlights and struggles. Medical school is hard and currently, I find myself struggling more than I am thriving. My exam grades indicate that my study habits up until this point have been ineffective and I need to make changes.
On the day I found out my grades, I burst into tears in my favorite professor’s office and cried myself to sleep. The next day wasn’t much easier; my peers were still talking about the exam and all I wanted to do was hide. I have told a few people in my class about my situation and while they have been nothing but supportive, I still feel like I majorly screwed up.
After all, who fails not just one, but two exams within their first month of med school?
But I digress…
The following day, I met with the course director for one of my classes.
“The good news is, ” he said, “you can earn the same grade for the remaining exams and still pass this course. ” I was confused until he explained that the assignments and quizzes would boost my grade. While hearing that was comforting, he also identified himself as an optimist, so I don’t know how much I should trust his words.
While the anxious thoughts and self-doubt are still present, I’m choosing to move forward with a reasonable plan and cautious optimism that I will be okay. I’m meeting with a few more professors this week, and I’m reaching out my support system and keeping them in the loop.
There’s already pressure to perform better on the next exam, but that’s a challenge I am willing to take on.
Reminding myself now (and every day) that I can do this.