From the messy desk of a procrastinating med student

Tuesday, September 12, 2006



I am a big fat failure. I'm nearly half way through med school. So far I have passed 15 exams (pretty well, too), got through all sorts of different assignments and assessments, I now I've done it.

I flunked an exam. F. Fuck.

So I was sent a rude email by the secretary of the examination boards telling me that:

Dear L (name spelled incorrectly)

At its meeting last week, the Examinations Board of the School of Medicine (Years 1 and 2) noted your disappointing result in the recent Practical Exam blah blah

And that I had to make an appointment to see the lecturer for feedback.

Please contact his secretary (email address given incorrectly) to make the appointment.


The Secretary.

OK, so, I (with permission) skived off nearly a month of uni to go galavanting around Eastern Europe and missed a chunk of the course. So, maybe I dropped the ball a little. I've always found anatomy difficult to memorise, and it's hard to compete with nearly half the course who have already done years of anatomy in previous degrees.

Certainly, I am upset to have to swallow a big fat F and be humiliated by having to present to my lecturer, whom I respect greatly, with my tail between my legs.

But do I need to be given a moral judgement by some secretary intent on making me feel more of a failure than I do already? "The Board has noted your disappointing result". Jeez. Has the Board noted "the immense size of [my] arse and [my] dubious dress sense" too? Way to make a girl feel worse! If she was going to get up on her intellectual high horse she could have at least got the spelling of my name right.

I feel like this whole experience is only serving to fuel that little voice in my head that constantly, quietly tells me,

"You're not good enough to do this. You're not smart enough. You're lazy. You can't be a doctor"

How do I make that voice go away before it consumes me?


Anonymous cara said...


That really sucks that the gal who sent the note had to be so bloody rude about it. I can't figure out *why* they had to be that way unless 1) it's a form email (wouldn't suprise me) or 2) they obviously have no clue that you're already kicking yourself over the grade, and the last thing you need to to be kicked by them. Or the secretary is a Sadist. That's always a possibility.

And that little voice - I think we all have it - it just seems to rear it's ugly little head more often when we're having a bad day. :)

My deepest wishes that things start looking up for you. Lemme know if there is anything I can do to help.

5:50 AM GMT+9:30

Blogger Lish said...

Thanks Cara for the kind thoughts :)

The whole failed grade really upset me, as I guess it would with most med students as I guess most of us have sailed through earlier study and have never even come close to failing before!

But it was totally my own fault - apart from the trip to Europe I really took my eye off the ball with the study. Never again!

I have been pleased to read on your blog that you've been studying hard with the cardio. Go girl! I really enjoyed cardio last year.. and it's a ripper hearing your first *real* murmur and being able to diagnose it!

Keep in touch

8:35 AM GMT+9:30

Anonymous Marinus said...

"You're not good enough to do this. You're not smart enough. You're lazy. You can't be a doctor"

I feel the same! I'm writing Internal Medicine in a weeks time and I still have difficulty differentiating all the murmurs!

All I remember is Aortic Regurg Radiates! (it's a good start I guess!)

3:50 AM GMT+9:30

Blogger Lish said...

>"You're not good enough to do >this. You're not smart enough. >You're lazy. You can't be a doctor"

I hope you were just quoting me and not trying to give me a hint :)

PS - Regarding heart sounds, Cara on her blog recently recommended, "The Auscultation Assistant" which I think is a good practice. I found Lilly's Pathophysiology of Heart Disease to be a real bible for that stuff.

Good luck,

8:00 AM GMT+9:30


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