The musings of a final year medical student

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Still here

The lovely Katie asked me the other day how I was, given that I hadn't blogged in a while. Rest assured I'm still here, just snowed under with work!

Recently I have discussed that I want to put more emphasis on being happy rather than academic achievement. Well I've sort of failed doing that! We had our respiratory test yesterday and it didn't go well. It's not that I did badly, but that I had hoped for much better. I had written up every lecture and done well during my case presentation, and I found the block relatively easy. But that wasn't exactly reflected in how I did. I'm trying to use this setback as fuel to try harder and do better, but it's not quite working.

I know I could try harder. I could have less lie-ins and work till 10pm every night doing research and rereading textbooks. But I don't want to. So I'm stuck in this limbo of wanting to do well without sacrificing my sanity. 

What I find difficult is knowing that I am trying so hard to do better this year. I ask everyone how to revise, how do they learn content, what textbooks to use etc.. I try to meet up with friends for group study sessions, I ask for help when I don't understand something. I'm trying so hard to sort everything out and somehow I still end up two steps behind everyone else. 

I tried to not put too much emphasis on academic achievement, but I became very passionate with my studies. I really enjoyed the lectures and would write notes constantly, and actually concentrate! It's hard not to care about how well you do in something that you really care about. Is there a middle ground, a real balance? How can you invest so much of yourself into your studies and not be disappointed if you don't do brilliantly?

And then there's everything else. Gym, societies that I should join but haven't, talks I have to present, spending time with family, friends and boyfriend, my research project, finding time to play piano, spending enough time with my housemates, going clubbing for friend's birthdays, keeping in touch with my sister whilst she's travelling, preparing for OSCEs and formative exams.

Everyone else appears to be getting all their shit done and doing well. I'm trying, and I want it. I care so much about this course and my future career. But when is the effort and the stress going to yield anything?



  1. I know how this feels - we got our rankings recently and even though actually I'm happy enough with mine, there is a big chunk of me that wonders if I should have worked harder? Maybe I should have worked longer evenings, maybe I should have tried harder to get my head around the things that confused me, rather than ignore them. But ultimately, it doesn't matter. I've worked hard enough that I'm still at medical school, hard enough to have a decent shot at a FY1 placement I'd actual want... and most importantly, not so hard that I've sacrificed my sanity! I know that had I worked any harder, I'd have made myself ill. Downtime is important, as is maintaining friendships and hobbies. When I look back at it all in years to come, I probably won't care all that much about a few extra right answers here and there!
    Jennifer x
    Ginevrella | Lifestyle Blog

    1. It's really nice to hear that from someone further along the medicine roller coaster than myself! Thank you so much Jennifer for saying that, I really hope you get your chosen deanery! The idea of FPAS points and SJT scare me already! xxx

  2. Don't worry Kate, I remember feeling a bit overwhelmed with everything at med school - like it was near impossible to juggle exam prep, societies and just chilling. Don't beat yourself up about your scores - at the end, I was just glad to have passed my finals! And when you've qualified and you're working, you have to continue studying for exams, so it's best to strike a balance now (hint: don't compare yourself to others - just try your best -- I didn't get the best marks at med school but now I have the post I wanted!).

    I'm sure you're doing fine, just keep going!

    Saskia /

    1. Aw cheers Saskia! Thank you so much for your kind words, I will try my best to keep level-headed!
      Kate xx


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