Sunday, April 01, 2007

Need direction? Try the graduate library.

Helpful signs on the floor of the stacks.

I think that the most helpful bit of advice about board studying I’ve ever seen/read/heard was Ben Bryner’s blog posting last year. He compared it to an eating contest, which horrified me to some extent last year, and continues to appall me as I force down another subject today. And yet, there is something satisfying about reviewing all of the material from the past two years. (Maybe there’s a career for me in eating…) It’s like I’ve actually learned things along the way. In spite of my fears that I had retained nothing, I seem to have gleaned more than a few things along the way. Which is not to say I really love being sequestered in the library for long hours at a time, or that I need more than one hand to count the number of friends I’ve seen in the past week. I don’t. But at least I’m getting somewhere. I’m coming up on what is arguably one of the biggest hurdles of medical education. (I say one of the biggest knowing that third year, and internship will be insanely difficult, but they are practical, and as such, fundamentally different.) That’s exciting.

So as I look to the floor outside of where I study, and it points me in one of four cardinal directions, I think about exactly where I am going, and am somewhat pleased to discover that I don’t really know. Sure I’ll be in PhD-land next year, learning public health background and methods for my dissertation, and staying in PhD-land for a few years after that, and then I’ll be a third year, and finally a fourth year, but after that, who knows? It will be a residency, but who knows where? And who really knows in what? (Right now I’m thinking OB/GYN, but so much could change in the next 6 years…) So, as I study for boards, I try to keep life in perspective, and remember that this is just one (albeit relatively large) more step forward. Chow down!

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