It's hard to describe that feeling of waiting for board scores.
If you are lucky, the days and weeks following a board exam are
busy enough to distract from what feels like impending doom. The
day gets put on the calendar and slowly approaches. The night
before, there's this nagging feeling like something big is
happening tomorrow. And then there's the sinking feeling, when I
realize what it is. The nausea sets in, and maybe a headache. Time
ticks so extremely slowly. It's like Christmas Eve, and you're 6
years old, but waiting for the zombie apocalypse. Morning comes. 8
am rolls around. Scores are in. Sitting in clinic seeing patients,
I try not to think about what's waiting for me. Others have already
checked. They passed! Congrats to them. I want to throw up.
I'm sure that they're smarter than I am. They must be; they
passed. I don't know what my scores are. I'm too chicken to check.
Patients roll through the clinic and I am trying not to think about
it. Good thing I have complicated patients. "Thanks for the
challenges and the distractions," I keep thinking to myself. Oh no.
I remember what I have to do when I get home. The day is over. And
even though I've stayed late to try to distract myself and get all
of my paperwork done, I don't want to go home. I don't want to see
my scores. It's the end of the world.
I make the drive, get home, and Grey meets me at the door. "I
have to do something," I say. He's telling me about his day. I sit
down and open my computer: NBCE in the Google window. And then I
wait. All that stress to a final moment I click on the link:
September 2014 scores. Click. One eye open, the other looking
through fingers, squinting, scared -- Grey is still talking to me,
trying to distract me. I can't look. I open my eyes. No stars. NO
STARS!!!! There are NO STARS!!!! I passed. (Stars mean that a score
isn't passing. If there's a star there, then the score is too low.)
All of that stress for absolutely nothing. The scores are fine. OK,
now I can go on with my life. Done. *Whew*
Now that all of that's done...
Last week, I had the great pleasure of participating in "All
College Day" for SPC. At All College Day, all of the SPC campuses
and staff come together for workshops and seminars. It also gives
all of the University Partnership Program participants and
affiliates a chance to come out, remind people that we're still
here, do some demonstrations, and hopefully bring some new patients
to the clinic. There were two sessions, a morning and afternoon.
Julia, Daniele, Brian, and Manuel held down the fort in the
morning, and Theresa, Antoinette, and I kept things under control
in the afternoon. Of course, Dr. Harrison accompanied us throughout
the day. It was a great day!
Many of the staff weren't aware that the clinic was available
for them. I've said this before, but I always love the response I
get from people when they hear "free healthcare." We were using the
G4 Massager and giving free massages, and also performing postural
screening and giving evaluations. It was a TON of fun. It's nice to
get out of the office every once in a while and do some outreach.
But also amazing to reach some new people, and see them come into
the clinic shortly thereafter. It's also great to see some of our
patients out running around in their natural environments.
Lots of incredible things coming up in the next few weeks; I'm
on to the next great adventure. Part IV Boards.
Have a Great One, Everybody!!!!!
I'm recovering from near brain-death. In case you missed it,
last weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) a group of us took
boards: Physiotherapy, Part II, and Part III. I wish I could say it
was 3 days full of fun-filled magical awesomeness, but I think you
guys know me well enough to know I'd be lying through my teeth.
We all survived the weekend, in large part due to the support we
gave each other. Julia was my right-hand this weekend. She made me
study when I didn't want to, go over questions, and made sure I got
out of the hotel room on time (and didn't get lost too badly
getting back and forth from the hotel). Ricky and Alid were the
humor for the weekend. The four of us (including Julia) and two of
Alid's friends from Palmer, went for dinner after PT. I honestly
thought we would be kicked out of the restaurant, we were laughing
so hard. It was just what I needed to keep me going another
It was great to see the smiling faces of people we've taken
tests with before from other schools, and also of each other. Kind
words of encouragement were given by so many. Leslie, Bryan, Julia,
Alid, Theresa, Ricky, Roshaun, and Dave: My huge thanks to you guys
for keeping me going this past weekend -- even if you didn't
realize that's what you were doing.
Image Source: www.etsy.com/listing/181470539/
It was a weekend fueled by caffeine and lack of sleep. We
learned how little sleep we could survive on, how many questions we
could answer in a short period of time, and how much caffeine was
required to take an exam at 7:00 a.m. We were laughing at each
other and our test-taking strategies, how long it took to finish
certain exams, and how much we were stressing about something
really and truly out of our control.
Boards are interesting, because you've been studying for them
all along. There's really nothing to "cram" for, and yet we cram
every time. Of course, it doesn't hurt to refresh memory on what
we've not seen for a couple of years even. Part I, last year, was a
test of the basic sciences. While these were more clinical, the
basic science stuff just doesn't go away. There's always something
that didn't get covered, that we haven't heard before, or that
we've never seen. There are questions on every test that make no
sense, and like all standardized test, more than enough
opportunities to overthink something. I've always been baffled at
how any exam in medicine can be made into a "Multiple Guess" test
-- when everything we do in medicine is completely essay.
But, we survive. No! We endure. And however the scores come out,
they come out. We'll take them as they come.
In other news, clinic is in full swing. At the HEC NUHS Student
Clinic, we are BUSY. We've been seeing sports physicals and regular
patients -- several every day. As the term gets underway for the
SPC students, we'll be seeing less of some sports physicals, and
more of others. I believe we're serving at least 3 different sports
teams now -- so there will be no shortage there.
I'm finishing up a quarter for the Master's program at UWS.
Finals are this week. Hard to come back and tackle that after last
week. But I'm SO looking forward to two weeks off with no pressing
studies. Next quarter with them starts in a few weeks with Sports
Nutrition and Fitness, Gastrointestinal Imbalances, and
Oxidative/Reductive Dynamics and Energy Production. Sounds like a
Have a Great week, Everybody!!!!
love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I
would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your
name and address. On the other hand, this not knowing has its
charms." -- You've Got Mail
I always loved this quote. It reminds me of growing up and going
to get school supplies in the fall. Things were a WHOLE lot
different then. The seasons changed; things got a little crisper, a
little clearer, and somehow a bit calmer.
Welcome Back, Everyone!!!!
I must admit, the last 5+ weeks have absolutely flown by. I
honestly don't know where the time went. Between break and the
first two weeks of clinic, it just kind of vanished. *poof!* I
learned something new over break: singular tasking. I know; you
must be asking yourselves. "What is she talking about?" I am a
notorious multi-tasker. It annoys people to no end how I'm always
doing multiple things at once. But, I made a concerted effort, to
simply sit and do one thing at a time over break. It was weird; I
will admit. But it was also interesting. I tried to relax, focus on
what I was doing (or not focus on what I was doing), and it almost
became meditative for me -- no matter what task I was involved in.
I'm hoping to do more of that in the future.
We're back in clinic and we've got a new classmate that's joined
us from Lombard. (Your loss, Lombard -- Leslie is great!) And we've
also been joined by a new crop of now 8th trimester students --
some of which started out in our original class, but have been
5-track students. It's good to be back together again. I'd
forgotten what a good crew we were. Next week will be the first
week that we're all seeing patients together, but during the
preliminary workshops and orientation, I can tell that they're all
going to be amazing!
Our students have separated into the two different clinics. For
those that aren't familiar, we have two clinics in Florida -- a
more student-based clinic at the
Caruth Health Education Center, and a more public-based clinic
Park. Our student-based clinic treats students, faculty, and
staff for NUHS and St. Pete College. Our public-based clinic treats
people from the public, but also some faculty from NUHS and
students and faculty from St. Pete College. We're BUSY!!!!! It's
been really odd having lost half of our classmates. It's a lot
quieter when the 8th trimester students aren't in the office, but
also, everyone that we've been around, every day for the last 2+
years (depending on when they joined us), isn't around any longer.
It's been very different.
That having been said, I LOVE the crew that's I'm at the clinic
with now. Everyone is fantastic. They work VERY hard, and we all
seem to work very well together. Even though we've already been
here for 4 months, it's still a period of adjustment, especially as
we get more and more responsibility. I'm looking forward to seeing
how things go.
(Image source: www.indiamadisetti.com)
While we've been working in clinic, we've also been trying to
study for boards. Most of us are taking Parts II, III, and
Physiotherapy this coming weekend. It's a LOT to study. This is the
first time that I've felt extremely unprepared for boards. I think
it's because too much of a good thing is just too much. I've got
more board study materials than I had for Part I -- probably triple
the amount of materials. We were told that there is such a thing as
over-studying for boards. I don't feel like I'm there yet; I have
quite a ways to go. Here's hoping I make more headway before
Friday. I'm pretty nervous.
But, we will go, and we will fill in bubbles and say prayers and
hopefully things will work out.
As things get closer and more boxes are checked and things
crossed out, I get more excited, and a little bit more scared. But
it's all a great adventure.
Have a great week, everyone!
Welcome back! How was your break?
I'm fresh from Part 1 of NBCE board exams. I'm still not sure
that I've recovered brain function--but I'm here. So, while I'm
still thinking about boards and analyzing my weekend experience,
I'll give all of you my thoughts on the matter. Here we go.
Andrea's Post-Board Decompression Thoughts
St. Pete Marina
So, now I go headfirst into Tri 6! WOW! There are lots of
classes this tri. It seems that we're moving rooms nearly every
hour. I think it's going to go fast. Christmas will be here before
we know it.
Have a Great Tri, everybody. I'll see you next week!
Hey Everybody! I've had several great emails come in with
questions. Thanks for contacting me. I hope that all the
information that I've sent back has been helpful. I think there's
one outstanding email left. I'll be getting back to you shortly.
For those reading, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate
I find myself struggling with what to write today. At some
point, I feel like I've said everything--and then again, I couldn't
even begin to list what all I've done in the last week. It would
take me 7 days. I'm losing track of the days as we pass midterms
and look towards finals and boards. I seem to get more and more
busy when I have less and less actual time. There are really only a
couple of weeks before finals start as the summer winds down both
quickly and slowly.
As of Wednesday, I'll be childless for a few weeks. The boys
will be visiting their grandparents in the Midwest, and the house
will be VERY quiet. This should be time to prep for finals, and
start studying for boards. Maybe I'll get the rest of the house
unpacked or just sit quietly in the middle of the living room doing
absolutely nothing. As their summer comes to a close and they try
to drain that last drop of freedom, I start looking forward to
those two weeks off between tris.
I've talked to several of my classmates, and some in the other
classes. All of those great plans for starting to study for boards
have been replaced by trying to keep sanity and study for midterms
and finals. Board review starts this next week. During our tri
break, I'm sure we'll all be studying for boards. But right now,
I've only dusted off my question book. Just for fun, I flipped to
one question, answered it, and checked my answer. Then I closed the
book and went back to something else.
The last exam we have this week before finals is in GI/GU and
then there's a paper in Botanical Medicine next week. I can't
believe how little time there is left.
I've had some ideas about students' behavioral health after
receiving an article from a friend that was written by an anonymous
Harvard student. Here's a link to the article: "In Sight, Out of Mind."
I keep wondering what our capacity is for counseling, or dealing
with behavioral issues at all. As physicians, I know we'll be faced
with people in a lot of trying situations, but two questions/issues
came to mind after reading this article: Taking care of each other,
and taking care of our patients.
Just like the author of the article, so many of our students
could benefit from counseling or at the very least peer counseling.
Going through medical school is tough. It seems that more people
have problems with their personal lives that cause difficulties
with their studies--than have difficulties with their studies
alone. I'm not sure that we have the resources here, yet, to set up
some type of peer counseling--but I think that we'd benefit from
it. While we have the clinic in place, I'm sure that few people
attend our clinic for behavioral health issues. This brings me to
the other question--what do we do when we have patients that come
in with a behavioral health issue?
Are we equipped enough (or confident enough) to work with
patients with conditions like depression, anxiety, neurotransmitter
imbalances, schizophrenia, and others? I've heard time and time
again that we should probably refer these patients, but we're in
the unique position as trusted providers to help. Can we? Will
Feel free to write me with your thoughts on this. I'd love to
read and hear them.
Until the next adventure, have a great week!
• After the DC Degree
• Botanical Medicine
• 1 Year at National
• Marketing Project
• First Week in Student Clinic
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