I have talked quite a lot about board studying and with just a week of classes left, before I dive fully into my dedicated period (a set amount of time without any class requirements given for board studying), I thought I would talk about the importance of this exam.
As pre-medical students, medical students, and physicians we have become accustomed to taking exams. I remember the butterflies when I walked into my first medical school exam, the increased heart rate, the dry mouth, and that lump in the back of my throat that would not disappear no matter how many times I swallowed. But by the last one, it was just second nature, muscle memory almost.
Now that I am preparing for my boards, the prodromal symptoms are resurfacing in one way or another during my practice exams. But one piece of advice I got from my mentor a few weeks back has settled my nerves. This exam will be looked at to compare me and thousands of other applicants for the minimal amount of residency spots. The stakes are high. HOWEVER, this exam does not determine my abilities as a physician and it is certainly not a reflection of my work ethic.
We are more than just that number. That number is just a standard way of comparing applicant A from applicant B. But what if applicant A and B have a score within the same standard deviation? That’s where the personal statement, letters of recommendation, clerkship scores come into play. All of the other aspects of a medical student that can speak to an individual’s abilities to be an amazing physician with phenomenal work ethic.
So this post is to my fellow peers taking boards, MCATs or SATs. Work as hard as you can, learn as much as you can, and take that exam without looking back. Remember that YOU tried your best and there is much more to your application than these set of numbers.