Saturday morning I woke with a start. A grayness squeezed between the pickets of my blinds, cast by a sky that was dawdling between night and day. As consciousness sluggishly seeped back into me, I felt panicky as I hadn’t woken to the familiar sound of my alarm. In a start, I leapt from bed, heart racing. “Of course my alarm wasn’t set this morning,” I thought, “It’s the weekend.” I enjoyed a brief period of relief followed by an intensely sick feeling when I realized I had Part Two boards that morning. Thankfully, repetition has honed my biological clock with precision, like a pebble on a beach, being blasted and smoothed by the continuous roll and tumble of the vast ocean. I glanced at the clock and realized I still had an hour and a half to get to Lombard and sign in.
Part Two is a 6-section exam, each 90 questions, much like Part One. This part consists of complicated, novel ways of asking easy questions. They’ll get tricky with the wording, too. Make sure to know the most obscure terms for every disease, procedure, and tests as they’ll purposefully use such terms to throw you off the scent.
After removing and replacing my belt 6 times to avoid the angry protests of the metal detector, the day was spent, it was 5:30 and time to go home.
The following day kicked off with both sections of Part Three, which was a bit more thorough than Part Two and far more case-based. Each section consisted of 70 questions, with two hours set aside for completing each section. After lunch break, the only thing left was the PT board, which was just one section of 90 questions.
Finally, I was home, robbed of a weekend and exhausted. All I wanted to do was hibernate under a dense mound of down bedding — drift off to sleep to the ticking hum of the radiators and the sporadic whistle of wind as it squeezes and worms its way between nail and wood, drying and contracting the bones of the building, as it, too, passes the winter by in slumber.