Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Fucking exam is doing my head in.

It's like this:

To be an anaesthesiologist (or an anaesthetist as we say in Aus) the mandatory training consists of

1. Medical School (somewhere between 5 and 7 years depending on where you do your degree)
then as a "qualified doctor"-
2. Internship
3. One year (at least) of residency
4,5. Two years as a Basic Trainee of Anaesthesia
during which you have to pass the "primary exam"
6,7.Then two years as an "advanced trainee"
8. the "final exam"
9. One year as a provisional fellow

and at some point complete a research project (10.)

I'm just about to undertake step 8. If I'm successful, I'll then have to do the fellow year (9) and do some research project (10).

To say I'm not feeling very confident would be a MASSIVE understatement. I have been studying for a long time but a) nothing seems to stay in my head (I have an incontinent intellect that leaks, it would seem) and b) it seems that much of my effort has been a little misguided- instead of studying the topics related to my everyday practice as I was, I should have been doing the old exam papers.

My study group consists of five women from my hospital who are all in approximately the same stage of training as me, but have not taken off huge swathes of time to, you know, have children. Only one other is married (and she is married to an already certified anaesthetist),  and she has no children. The others are all in their early 30s and have no commitments apart from themselves and their job. It has been incredibly hard to watch them all improve their knowledge at the rate of knots over the last 3 months whilst I am left behind. At the start I was at least on par with probably all but two- ie in the middle of the group knowledge-wise, but now I'm just so far behind ...

I am seriously considering pulling out. I don't get any of my $4600 back, but I couldn't face the humiliation of being the only one in the group to fail. People keep telling me I have nothing to lose by just sitting anyway, but there is a massive massive blow to the ego and intellect when you fail at something you have tried very hard to do, even though you know you were borderline to begin with. What looks worse? A non-starter or a loser?

I'm also concerned that if I do fail, I will have to spend another 6 months in this type of intensive study where I don't get to see the kids, don't get to do anything else in my spare time but sit here in this fucking room pushing pieces of paper all over my desk and eating myself to an early grave. It is a huge stress on MrT and the boys- it breaks my heart when they come to the door and literally wail "Mummy! Please PLEASE come and play with me! PLEASE!". Patrick is convinced I don't love him anymore because I need to study more than I need to spend time with him. Friday has been our day together, but I haven't been able to do it because of this stupid thing, and it is killing me.

So, please. On Friday the 25th March and Saturday the 26th would you all send some smart thoughts my way, or pray for me, or whatever you feel. Because I need all the help I can get to get my life (such as it was) back.


Blogger E. from Pot o' Gold said...

Fucking hell, that sounds hard. All around. I hope you work it out. Forget the ego, (and remember that you are doing this with small kids), I say, and just take the exam in case your memory is better than you think, and you can be done with it forever!!!!! It makes me feel so glad that I got my Master's out of the way before having kids, and I just have to worry about easy enough continuing ed. credits. Yeesh...

16/3/11 22:50  

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