Woah! Time flies and I’m now a final year medical student! (*panic alarm rings!*) A year from now, I will have a Dr. in front of my name, together with all the responsibilities that comes with it. The thought of it has always been terrifying to me, as I have a constant doubt on myself.
‘I am just not good enough!’
‘Impossible, it is just not possible that I can be a good doctor next year this time’
‘Oh man, I should have studied more! What have I been doing all this while?’
Few more things to add into this madness…
‘Where should I do my holiday electives? Should I actually do it to improve myself or take it as a holiday to spend more time with my family?’
‘ Malaysia HO and MO training, specialist training prospect’!
‘Internships in Australia? Super limited space and I don’t have a strong CV!’
‘Should I take PLAB or USMLE, keeping my options open?’
‘What my IELTS has expired! And I have to score band 7 and above for each section? >.<‘
These are some of the things that are on top of my head right now, and year 5 is definitely a challenging year and I certainly do have a lot to think of. The good thing about Monash University medical programme is that our VIA and final exam was done in year 4, and this year we are being treated as ‘pre-interns’ and our aim is to learn how to be an intern next year, which gives me a focus to pick up on practical skills, know the crucial medical conditions inside out and fine-tune on my procedural skills.
With this in mind, I have noticed that I am now much more involved in the treating team, rather than tagging along like I used to be during my third and fourth year. Though it is always scary to put myself upfront and to volunteer and actively participate in the team, I have noticed some changes in me now. By throwing myself into the ‘fire’, I am able to have more learning opportunities and have gained a lot of confidence in myself. That being said as the programme is very much self-directed, your level of involvement depends on your own motivation and drive, something I have been trying to work on since I first entered med school.
At the end of the day, medicine is a life-long process and I guess I will have to just take it one step at a time. =) Any advice on future career pathways, how to be organised or anything at all would really be very helpful for this lost soul!