Thursday, August 18, 2005

Step 2

Well, the day is almost upon me... I take my boards tomorrow. I'm so nervous I feel physically ill. I keep trying to calm down but then I remember that my whole future is relying on this test. My score will help determine which residencies invite me for interviews and will ultimately play a role in how they rank me. I know that I'm not the Harvard ir Hopkins type, don't even want to be, but I would like to end up at the program of my choice. So I sit here dreading this test.

I've been studying for almost 2 months, but hard core for only the past 3 weeks or so. I've read the review books and done plenty of practice questions, but I just don't feel ready. The questions that I'm getting wrong are about things I've never even heard of, so I don't really know what else to study. The Kaplan people say that getting 70% on their review questions will put you "well above the mean" but I just don't know. My average is there, but I have wild swings from 62-84. Those low scores don't make me feel any better.

I know that it's important to have some sort of standardized test in order to compare people from different schools, but it just puts so much pressure on. It's like the SAT and the MCAT -- the questions are strange and often irrelivent but you feel like your life depends on them. I wish there was some other way to compare us. We all take the same basic rotations and get letters from out attendings; can't they just read those. Will this test show that I can work up a patient and manage his care? I really don't think so.

Several more hours of daylight before I try to get some much needed sleep. Gotta do some more studying and then I'll watch some Horatio Hornblower to calm my nerves. Ioan Gruffudd is excellent at that :)


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