Yesterday I endured a 200 question, 5 hour exam. It was a test of my knowledge over the past 2 years that I have been studying for for the past 4 weeks. Did I know everything? No. Was I confident I knew enough to pass? Yes. Am I confident I passed? No. But upperclassman have all said the same thing... everyone walks out of there thinking they failed. I guess this is a normal feeling to have and although I'm thinking positive, it is a strong possibility.
I'm not setting myself up for failure but I am realizing that the me now is a lot different than the me 2 years ago when I started medical school. I used to feel scared and embarrassed if I failed. I used to feel that I let others down when I failed and I felt like I was a disappointment to others. More importantly I was disappointed in myself. We are all our own self-critiques and self-doubt happens to the best of us. The old me taking this NPLEX exam would have been an absolute mess and SO scared to look at my results. I probably would have been in tears last night and probably not slept a wink because I would have been thinking about the exam and continued to beat myself up over it. Don't get me wrong, I am still scared to open that envelope when I get it in 6 weeks, but whatever the outcome is I'm OK with it. Mainly because I am proud of myself. I am proud of myself for even being in this process and making it here and I know I did the best I could and worked really hard in preparation for that exam. This exam will not define me. It does not mean I am going to be a bad doctor. It's just a test. It doesn't mean I don't know anything, it just means what I knew really well didn't match what was asked of me yesterday. 2 years and over 160 credit hours of information is A LOT to be tested over in 200 questions. The worst case scenario is I retake the exam. It doesn't hold me back from continuing on in the program. There were quite a few upperclassman re-taking the exam for the 3rd time. There have been a lot of accomplished world figures that struggled to get where they are today (even JFK Jr. had to take the bar exam THREE times before he passed!). It doesn't mean they are less of a person.
I just remind myself that I am so blessed and fortunate to be here today in the first place. Even more so, I am proud that the new me no longer is so hard on herself and is a better person because of it.
I'm so ready to begin my new quarter today. It's not as intense as the last few, but it's one step closer to fulfilling my dreams of becoming Dr. Erin Ellis.
Thanks for all your prayers and support the last few days and to my family and friends for being the best cheerleaders! I love you all! Team Ellis RULES!