All Posts · Medical School

The Sky is Falling

Well, at least my sky is falling in pieces all around me.

I had my psychiatry oral exam today.  We are supposed to be given stable patients who can give clear histories.  This is to ensure that we are being fairly tested on our abilities to take appropriate psychiatric histories.  Well, as luck would have it, my patient did not meat this criteria.  I had a patient who was agitated, aggressive, who refused to answer my questions, and who would have angry outbursts.  So right from the beginning, I was off my game.  I couldn’t ask all the questions I was supposed to ask because the patient would get angry and say “I don’t want to talk about it” or, “why are you asking me these questions again?”

Without re-hashing the whole horrible ordeal, I will say that my “1 hour oral exam” turned into a 1 hour and 45 minute session of me flailing like a fish out of water, and my preceptor was a kid with a magnifying glass trying to fry me… Quite literally.  She even admitted that the patient was uncooperative and then she was telling me straight out all the things I missed and did wrong.  Oh, and then she was asking me questions on things at a level that is above what I am expected to know and then giving me facial expressions wrought with sympathy and pity… Along with the slight “head-tilt and nod” that is all too telling of the sentiment: “I’m sorry that this is turning out so horribly for you.”

It took all of my energy to hold in my tears until i got out of her door.  I made it half way down the hallway before bursting into tears.  I ran into one of my classmates and told her what happened.  Of course, everyone else who had their oral exams today had wonderful experiences, with cooperative patients and preceptors who were friendly and helpful…  Of course.  I calmed down long enough to make it into a bathroom, just to sit on the toilet and burst into tears.  I cried over this more than I have cried over anything in a long time.

And if that’s not bad enough, my broken ego and my stupid brain have to sit down for 2.5 hours tomorrow morning and write my psychiatry shelf exam, which I’ve been completely unable to focus on preparing for.  My performance as a medical student is beginning to tank and I don’t know why… I’ve even been working so hard and doing well in each individual rotation.  I’ve gotten exemplary evaluations from all my preceptors thus far, and then I get an exam situation that is completely unfair and un-telling of my true capabilities.

Then I had a fight with my mom tonight over my upcoming visit back home while I’m on elective…

Then I opened a letter from my bank saying that I cheque I deposited last week was not actually in the ATM envelope and they have taken the money out of my account… And, this was no small amount of money.  We’re talking over $1000 here.  WTF.  Now I have that shit to deal with on top of everything else.

OK, so maybe the sky isn’t really falling, but I feel like I am falling apart and I see no break, no time to pause and let things just settle out and mend.  None.

16 thoughts on “The Sky is Falling

  1. Ugh….horrible day! Hang in there, it will be better tomorrow! Look at it this way, relax there’s lots of room for improvement! lol!!!! ((((hug)))) My grandmother used to tell me, “you know what to do with a bad day? Put it to bed, its always better in the morning.”


    1. Haha! Thanks! The only time a bad day isn’t better in the morning is when you have a big scary exam staring at you when you wake up! It’s all over now, though!


      1. I remember those days of big exams…I know am reminded of them via my daughter in her finals for her Masters for MFT..I laugh knowing its going to be fine..and one day it will all be in the past. BUT yes the anxiety that hits you right upon waking..I remember. It ain’t for sissy’s!!! Its over now for you! BIG SIGH of relief!!!!!! Finally!


  2. Breathe. You’re putting a lot of energy into telling yourself the story of today. It’s in the past and nothing you can do will change what has happened. You can adjust. You got this.


    1. I hope so… I know I’ll feel better in a few days. Plus, I only have 1 day left in my psych rotation. Things should get better after that!


  3. Oh hunny that sounds like my final examination as a teacher when the class decided to make my life hell. Don’t worry I’m sure it will have been better than you expect, anyone would be flustered if that happened and if you get a bad grade on it then complain and ask for a retest…in fact lay the ground work…complain now to your mentor. You just reminded me I used to be a guinea pig for medical students to practise their history taking on lol….I’m awkward but not on purpose 😉
    You’re doing so well…breathe and keep reminding yourself how far you’ve come, you’re amazing!! (((hugs))) xox


  4. Hang in there! Agreed with Scienerf– talk to your mentor about how to proceed if this really affects your grade. That was not standard procedure and is not reflective of your peers’ examinations.


    1. Thanks! I talked to my resident today and she gave me some good advice… She also said that if I needed her to vouch for my great performance as a clinical clerk, I could rely on her to talk to the program coordinator!


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