The Passing mark

My results came out yesterday – in the midst of ‘holiday’-ing with M at London, I decided to check my results online. M said not to check cos I’d just get depress the whole weekend, but how can I not?? Especially since our hotel was near the exam hall where I did my first Paeds exam (last Jan, first attempt, passed part 1a but failed part 1b). How can I not be reminded each time we walk out??

So in the early morning (I cant stop myself from waking up at 7 am, even though I’ve been off from work for 2 weeks now) yesterday, I looked it up online. It took me a long time to get through the website since I’ve forgotten my password account (buleh! suspen) and then, when I finally got to THE page, I put my phone aside psyching myself up. ‘It’s ok if fail. Just do it next year. It’s ok, even though I’m SICK of doing it again.’ Finally, looked at it – my mark: 58.58%. Pass mark: 58.58%. Alhamdulillah!!!!!!!!!!!!! Syukur banyak2, on the dot pass but who cares! I PASSEDDDDD! And I can finally go to the second round…..

Anyway, this is not to boast about my pass (not that there’s much to boast since I JUST ABOUT passed). But about medicine in general. People think that medicine is hard and medics have to be ‘pandai’ and geniuses. I dare to differ in this, cos I think the key really to get through is perseverence and consistency. Cramming is all and good …. back in high school. But I soon learnt (after struggling first 2 years of med school ‘to just pass’) that to survive is to be consistent. Doesn’t mean you have to abandon all social life (you NEED a social life to survive too) but means to give a bit of yourself to studying, to learn, to read at a regular basis. And that makes life easier.

But the question is: how to get yourself motivated to do this? How now brown cow?

It helps to have friends/learning buddies early on. I cannot overemphasize on how this helped me a lot. Learn together, be geeks in the library, or just go through topics together at a weekly basis. People learn different things at different times. So what I know now, you might not know…and you can teach me. And vice versa. Also when you can teach, that means you understand something well enough. You dont want to memorize, you want to understand.

I used to get overwhelmed with stuff, thinking I have to know everything. And later realise, what is taught in lectures and tutorials are what they want me to know. All other stuff in textbooks are for my learning pleasure (uhuk). So following my friend’s method, I used the module’s objectives on what to learn.

Thirdly, get good books. Ask your seniors what their books are and browse through them. Again we all learn differently, some like books with diagrams to explain, some like more words.

Before I finish, let me point out that the best students not necessarily make best doctors. I’ve seen the smart (and @#$@$@) ones in wards and let me just say – he/she weren’t necessarily the most pleasurable person to work with nor I suspect, a pleasure for the patients. Harsh, but a dr need not be the smartest to be the best- its a collection of good communication, great personality, team player and lots of sound logic that makes one a great dr – in my most humble opinion. I am yet to perfect all these skills but insyaAllah I will follow the footsteps of inspiring senior drs I’ve seen one day.

Lotsa love,

ps. To touch on having a social life – it’s important to have a balance on playing and working. All work and no play not only makes Jack a dull boy but leads to higher burnout cases and lead you to feeling ‘I’M SICK OF THIS’. It’s like a marathon – you dont want to sprint it, you want to go through at a consistent rate.

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