The end of an era

So, by this past Saturday morning at 10:35 am, I had completed my second year OSCE, and with it, my clinical skills sessions for medical school.

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The OSCE actually went really well, I think – maybe I really am getting the hang of this ‘med school thing’ 😉 and it was surprisingly anxiety free for me leading up to it.  I messaged a friend beforehand that I thought I actually was ‘under stressed’ for the OSCE, if that was even a thing, but it was the best way to describe it.  My summative physical covered almost all of the possible OSCE areas, so prep was really just some of the nuts and bolts like reminding myself about JVP, peripheral vascular, and the MSK special tests.  Its interesting for me to look at studying for this OSCE vs. the first one in terms of how much I knew then vs. knew now – my notes were a bit hilarious from that first one – but this post isn’t really about the OSCE.

It’s about being done with a massive part of my medical school education: clinical skills.

Now, of course one is never really done with clinical skills in medicine, they just become your job, but here I’m referring to the class, rather than the idea; a class that was essentially one quarter of our medical education.  There is certainly a part of me that is celebrating being done – I was just about done with the artificialness of clinical skills – but there is another part of me that really just can’t believe it.  If medical school is a mountain, then being in it always makes you feel a bit like this:

man-looking-up-at-mt-everest
Perpetually at the bottom, no matter how far you’ve gotten.

I’m glad that clinical skills is done, I’m glad that I’m moving forward, I’m glad that I’m almost out of the ‘classroom’ part of medical school.  And it isn’t like clerkship won’t be it’s own part of the mountain, that I’m not aware that the milestone I’m coming up on is only the halfway marker.

And yet, I’m 2 exams away from the end of second year.  2.5 months, 1 research block, 1 placement away.  These are small numbers (though they’ll be big exams 😦 ), but the halfway mark is creeping up upon me, and it feels strange.  I felt this way when the end of first year came around and suddenly I’d finished a year, and it’s the same feeling here, with perhaps some added excitement of the unknown.  Clerkship has still yet to crystallize into something I can visualize, where as second year was known, and clerkship is a bigger change.  The class will split up, I’ll enter my track and have more interactions with the 9 other people on the track, and the learning environment will change drastically.  And I really am looking forward to it; it was time for that change, and I’m sure once I get into it clerkship will be the next amazing step on this medical school journey.

The future just got a little bit closer all at once, is all, and I find myself in the moment – both excited and apprehensive – as the clock ticks ever forward into this new chapter.

IMG_2231
The clock window at the Musee D’Orsay, overlooking The Louvre. 

 

 

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