Oh wait... it won't.
During finals, a friend in my class told me that this was about the highest level of stress she has ever been through.
She wasn't the only one. I saw a few people crying in the halls before finals, and had to handle the odd late-night telephone call with a sobbing classmate on the other end of the line.
"I can't believe this," she told me, apparently asking for help finding the end of the tunnel. "The second-year students are done already, so second year can't be much harder, can it?"
"Actually," I replied, "I hear second year is a lot harder. At least we had one final out of ten where we had the feeling we had studied everything. Apparently, that feeling goes out the window for even the anatomy lab final next year."
"Well, once we get through that, it will be great to get to third year. We'll actually be doing medical stuff and won't be in classes any more."
"Uh, well, from what I've heard, third year does have lectures in it, in addition to being on the wards more than full-time. And, you have to write finals for each rotation that are standardized across North Amercia."
"Well, at least after several weeks working through, say, surgery, you'll know the information inside and out."
"Actually, I think that you can't be guaranteed to see everything in your rotation that will be on the test. So, for most of the stuff you need to know for finals, you need to study from books on your own, between seeing patients, between lectures, and between being at the hospital full-time."
"Huh... wow... well, at least.... at least you're only doing one final at a time.... just surgery, or just ob/gyn, none of this infectious diseases and cardio and renal and pulmonary all in just a few days."
"Yeah, I suppose, but what if you're in your emergency rotation and in comes a 76-year-old smoker with COPD (a chronic respiratory disease) who has a blood creatinine of 1800 (likely kidney failure), who is short of breath due to an acute exacerbation of congestive heart failure (uh, clearly a cardio problem)... and has S. aureus sepsis (you guessed it, infectious diseases)?"
"You're not helping."
Added 15 June: I was talking to a doctor the other day who described third year like this: "You get thrown into it and are just like 'WOAH - I've learned more in my first four weeks of third year, than in my entire last six years of university.'" Scary.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Oh wait... it won't.