My Doctor Reading List

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Grateful

Just to take a short break from my last day of studying, I thought I'd reflect on something that I've been grateful for.

Today, its been my husband. He has been amazingly supportive of this decision to attempt medical school again and has proven it by actions and not just words.

Not only has he actively encouraged me to study, he has come up with ways to make sure I get quiet time to do so. He has driven me to class, he takes his responsibility as a father and equal partner in our house and he does it without being asked.

The last few days he has completely taken over the childcare. I know it shouldn't be a big deal when a dad does what he is supposed to do, but I KNOW there are many, many men out there who really do think its the "woman's" job to do certain things (childcare, kid's activities, cleaning, laundry, etc) even if the wife works or is sick or whatever. So I'm incredibly grateful that mine really doesn't see it that way. I'm grateful that in spite of working over 50 hours a week on average, he was happy to do everything so I could go to the library and study. Happy to organize outings for the kids so I can study in quiet at home once the library closed. Organized dinner. Did the laundry.

I got married very young - I was 22. My husband was 23. We had been together since high school, went to the same university together and got married immediately afterwards. Now, in many, many ways I think that we are incredibly lucky to have made it this far and to be so happy. I wouldn't actually recommend getting married so young to most people because you change so much as a person from that time of being young and newly independent to mature adult. It could have been a disaster, but luckily we were always on the same wavelength in terms of what we wanted and have always been supportive of each other. But we also have had some tough times, some not so perfect moments in our marriage (though I've come to realize that this is basically ALL successful marriages)  and we don't always agree on everything.

Still, just scratching the surface of what it will take to have a successful career in medicine has made me realize there is NO WAY I'd be able to do this if my husband weren't the type of person that he is and if I didn't have his backing the way I do. Because this is the first of many moments to come and I'm so grateful that he has proven to me that he has my back and I can do this.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Frustrated

I'm studying for my final exam, which is on Monday afternoon.

I have to admit, I dropped the ball a bit in the preparation for it. We finally moved into our new house and even though we didn't really have that much stuff, setting it all up, unpacking etc took much more time (and energy) than I anticipated. I go around to actually start studying a full 5 days after I had originally planned to.

And, as always with studying, I feel behind in where I was hoping to be.

One thing that I wanted to do though was do at least 3-4 of the previous years' exams as a way to gauge my understanding and pin-point my weaknesses. I started to skim through them when I realized that there were NO answers posted on the website for my course.

This frustrates me to no end. What is the point of posting the prior year exams with no answer guide? I mean, yes, they will be mildly useful to know what kinds of questions to expect but no answer key at all kind of defeats the purpose.

I emailed the prof for the course and she was like "oh we don't have the answer key...I might be able to throw something together but probably not before the exam." Um, ok? So I asked if I could at least do one and send it to her to mark and she said sure. By why don't they have the answer key? Surely one was developed when it was being written in the first place.

Ugh. I'm just super grumpy now after reading the email from the professor - and it came at a bad time (as I was reviewing all the organic chemistry stuff - I really know nothing except the nomenclature and how to draw the molecules...).




Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Changes

It hit me today that I have just one week of lectures left.

Spring is in the air in New Zealand (so weird when to me October is usually the first real month of fall) and students are getting ready to finish up another year (perhaps their last ever?) of university.

 I have to admit, I'm looking forward to being done my course even though I've thoroughly enjoyed it. The pregnancy is starting to tire me out and the 2.5 hour round trip commute is starting to be more uncomfortable than not.

BUT I'm in a great place mentally - I feel very motivated to study and do as well as I can on the final. On Monday I got my results back from our lab test and recent group report (that I wrote). I got 100% on both and was especially proud of the test, as I was one of only two people to get the perfect score (the other was my lab partner!).

The final is worth 60% of my grade though, so I do need to do very well on it even though I'll be going into it with a 96% average. Still, I think its totally doable!

One thing that I'm starting to realize - and it both excites and scares me - is that I actually have the ability to do this. A part of me really wondered if I have what it takes to do well in science. In high school, I was good at biology and did well in physics but my real strengths were in the social sciences. My IB courses focused on English, History, Economics and French. I always took a backseat in the sciences because they didn't come as easily to me.

I'm excited though, because if I do well on this final - and there is no reason for me not to if I study appropriately - then my gamble of taking this course will have paid off. I'll be able to apply to the program and show the admissions committee that while, yes my background is in business I can ALSO science. And hopefully, taking this course will allow me to lessen my course load in that first year of health science courses.

I'm scared, on the other hand, because of what it means if I have a real shot of getting in, that I will get in and the changes that it will bring. It will mean uprooting and moving my kids again. It will mean moving away from extended family again - but this to a place where there is no support. It will mean pressure to do well at school and hold it together on the family front. It will mean taking on debt and it will mean several years of not contributing financially.

However the reason I'm pushing for it is because the alternative is just coasting. Sure, being a mom is awesome and keeps me busy. But soon it will no longer be enough. I don't think I would be satisfied if my life's long term focus was just my kids. As it is I spend way too much time engaging in debates about GMO's, vaccines, gun control, alternative medicine etc online just to scratch that itch to use my brain. I want and need a bigger challenge.