Exam three, interviews and the magic of faculty mandated extensions
So, this was a busy, busy, busy past 48 hours for the little lowly denizens of MUN med. Friday morning saw exam 3, friday afternoon was all about inter-professional presentations, friday evening was mandated interviewer training, 11:30 saw my friend coming in for the interview arrive, Saturday morning saw a 6am wake-up to make 7:30 for the interviews, 4pm was interview freedom, and 6:30-8:30 was the applicant social/tours/pizza give-away.
Needless to say, my bed looked really, really good at about 9 pm Saturday 😉 And oh, were there highs and lows in that 48 hour period, but honestly, the interviews made it pretty great despite how much the exam sucked.
And oh, did the exam suck. See, we bitch about exams, because they’re exams, and no one likes them. It’s a right of passage, and so not always everything we bitch about is fair; some of it is just in the spirit of bitching. Exam one was not an inherently unfair exam, but we bitched about it all the same because it did have flaws, and it was an exam, and thus deserved to be bitched about.
This was not the case with exam three.
Exam three sucked. I won’t post the details here, but it made me feel a bit like this.
Or, if asked if I enjoyed it I’d answer:
Overall, the exam was pretty brutal, and I was pretty sure I had failed it until I went out and talked to my classmates after, and felt a bit better because it seemed like I got a lot of the ones I was iffy on right, so now I’m more 50/50 on it.
The exam still definitely made me feel a zombie though, which kicked in pretty strong as we went from the exam to three hours of inter-professional presentations. We had made a concept model that was very good and had all the info, but we sort-of winged the presentation, and thankfully it seemed to work 🙂 Many of the other groups presentations were interesting as well, one with a very clever video and another did a Hollywood squares gameshow, but I was so tired I couldn’t really appreciate it. I definitely couldn’t appreciate the interviewer training that night, though the look behind the curtain on how people are actually scored for interviews and how the faculty decides who gets in was enlightening, to say the least.
After that thankfully the awful of the time was done, and the fun could begin 🙂 It was great to see my friend from undergrad again, even if I did have to get up at 6am 😦 It was also great to meet Kay, an applicant who was picked up by a friend of mine (who also picked me up) and whose pre-med blog I have really enjoyed.
Kay seemed very nice and I wish her, my friend and all the applicants the best of luck! My interview stress was in playing the interview video that I had written and directed for the students, and for the Dean, who absolutely had not seen it before, despite the fact that he should have! However both the morning and the afternoon cohort – and the Dean! – really seemed to like it – they all laughed, and I got compliments, the nicest of which was from several applicants who mentioned the video had actually made them less stressed for the interview, which I think was probably the best thing it could have done! As soon as the school puts it up on their youtube account I will (try to) embed the video here so anyone who wants to can see it 🙂
Otherwise, the interviews were kind of fascinating to watch as a first year. We were in business casual for the training, and sitting in the theatre with all the applicants, in a blazer and dress pants, the feeling of deja vu to when that was me hit pretty hard. It’s sometimes hard to believe it’s been a year since that interview, and sometimes hard to believe it’s only been a year. So much about me – my attitude, my outlook on life, my plan for the future – has changed and solidified since that one phone call back in June. I feel so much more in control of my life – I can, with a pretty good degree of certainty (knock on wood to avoid getting hit by lightening or something) say that I will be a doctor in 4 years, where before, looking at possibly having to start up my final cycle of applying, I couldn’t say if I’d ever achieve my dream. Med school can be stressful and a lot of hard work, but med school problems are awesome problems to have, and no matter how much I bitch, I will never lose track of how incredibly grateful I am to be in the position I am.
Also, to the applicant’s who didn’t dress up for the interview? If I realized I looked more like an applicant than you, you can bet the interviewers did too, so next year, please give some thought to a suit, just out of respect to the school and the process, and to anyone heading to interviews soon, please, please do the same. Suit or blazer and dress pants, or dress for the ladies, no matter how free your personality is. It’s a sign of respect to the school and their program and how much you think of them, and not doing it puts you immediately on the wrong foot.
Overall though, the interviews were a really great experience for me. I didn’t interview anyone, but a couple of my classmates did including my best med friend and she had a blast, so I can’t wait until next year when I will get to. I was glad I didn’t this year – I preferred the experience of showing the video and mingling with the students, but next year, I am all over that! Also, the applicant social had about 30 jumbo pizzas at it, so as a party favour I walked out with a whole pizza for free, which was a pretty great way to end the day. Then I got to sleep in, because the faculty gave us an extension on the four page paper that was supposed to be due tomorrow and so you can bet I made use of that time to sleep! Then I took my friend out for some truly excellent fish and chips at the Duke of Duckworth pub, and dessert at the Gypsy Tea Room, two St. John’s classics, and now I’m really looking forward to sleep again 😉 So, final verdict – a pretty good 48 hours. The exam might have been horrible, and it might finally be my first fail of medical school, but I’m fine about that. After all, you know what they call the person in medical school who graduates with the lowest average in the class right?