This week marks the end of surgery. Well, at least the end of in-patient surgery. I still have 2 weeks of out-patient surgery, gyn surgery, and possible surgery electives in my future. This is good seeing as I actually really like being in the OR and think I'll miss it. Regardless, I have an oral exam and a national shelf exam to take this week. These exams will be the determining factor between honors, high pass, and pass, as I already know that my evaluations are solid.
I feel completely and totally unprepared for these 2 exams. I'm pretty sure that I've never felt this unprepared for any exam in all of medical school. Over the last 8 weeks I have learned how to stitch like a pro, how to spend long hours on my feet in the OR, and how to not mess with the pancrease. Today I proved that I can use a bovie like a rock star and drive a camera with precision. I'm pretty sure that I can even do a lap choly completely unassisted, assuming there was no gross anatomical variant or unexpected complication (ha!), and assuming someone would be stupid enough to let me try.
However, over the last 8 weeks I have not learned how to verbalize surgical procedures, explain anatomy, articulate complications, or manage medically complex co-morbidities. The medical team hospitialists do that for us. I have done my best to stay on top of the reading and go through practice questions but I often find myself so exhausted at the end of the long day that I don't manage to retain what I'm studying. Basically, surgery has prepared me to be a hamster on a wheel but not to take these exams. How do other med students do it? I'm feeling screwed. And sleepy.