While on my rural medicine elective, I haven’t had to study for a shelf exam and it has been downright refreshing. Instead of putting my nose to the books every night and weekend, I have been able to check out the town and meet new people. I have had lunch with my preceptor and her wonderful family. I have visited a farmer’s market and sat out on the dock. I have also walked down the main road in the town and saw various shops and restaurants.
Times like this allow me to have perspective and remind me why I am on this journey in the first place. I have time to think and reflect on what’s most important for me in terms of my professional and overall life goals. I can process the interactions I have had and find ways to improve while moving forward. Moreover, it’s wonderful to be able to read up on patients and look up conditions because I want to, not because it’s going to be on some exam.