A Commandment Worth Remembering

21 May

This week, I had the worst day I’ve had since I started revision.

I’ve had rubbish days and I’ve had unproductive days. There was the day when I tried to work in a study room in the QM, but that turns out to be a lot like working in a prison cell and it doesn’t really do much for someone who goes slightly crazy if she can’t see the sky from time to time. And the day when I had a complete meltdown over the conus medullaris, of all things. And the day when my study partners and I were sitting at the kitchen table, stressed out and stressing each other out and trying to learn things and really getting not a whole lot done. And the day of iron deficiency anaemia, when I came so very close to setting fire to Berne and Levy. Do you see where I’m going with this? The last five and a half weeks have not exactly been shiny and fluffy.

But this was different. Because in spite of all that, I’ve been happy. Mostly. I’m generally a happy person and I always try to look for a good side to everything, and I’m well aware that that might drive some people a little bit nuts, but it’s how I want to live my life and it certainly makes for a better experience than the alternative.

So, when I started staring at a folder full of notes and thinking dark thoughts and deciding that there was no possible way for me to pass this exam and wondering what kind of idiot I’d been to think I could do this and despairing over how slowly the work was going and how quickly the time was going…

It’s not like me.

I’d barely slept the previous night — going to bed very late (which was entirely my own fault) and then being woken up at dawn (for reasons that were unforeseen and totally unavoidable) combined to mean that I’d got maybe three and a half hours sleep, and looking at it from the other side of a good night’s rest, I know that I was cranky because of the sleep deprivation and the work was going slowly because of the sleep deprivation, and that the whole thing spiralled from there. I’m back to my normal, terrified-but-chirpy self now, but I know that I’m far from being the only student to have had those dark thoughts in the last few weeks and I read something today that I thought was worthy of sharing. It’s the conclusion to the new Hippocratic Oath:

“While I continue to keep this oath unviolated, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and the practice of the Art, respected by all, in all times.”

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Posted by on May 21, 2009 in Blog, Medicine


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