Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Missed Arrows

The thought that was crossing back and forth in swift, wispy movements before my mind's eye, as I worked through our hundred-point multiple-choice exam on pregnancy this morning, was this: Is it guaranteed that by making a choice in this exam - the intended first technical rehearsal, in theater parlance, for what is to face us in the real world a few years from now - we raise our self-esteem a notch higher and become more assured doctors-to-be with a right answer, or clear the field of one more possible misdiagnosis or mismanagement with a wrong one?

I hope so. I hope that exams are truly what I hope them to be - an open-field try-out, a place to discover what one has missed or failed to understand, that one may avoid committing the mistakes thereafter. We gather information - fresh, unstained, yet to be soaked in the proverbial pool of sweat and blood - then try as much as our minds would permit to find every bit a place in our system, cramped and limited as it is. Then we are summoned to shoot our first arrows, and we either hit the target, what is considered a theoretical right answer, or we miss. And when we miss, we leave the arrow there to mark the spot, and that is one more wrong eliminated.

Take this one, for example - a still-bloody wound, I say: Which would be the most important and likely finding of a vaginal examination near term? Between 'pelvic capacity' and 'placental location', I thought the latter and answered the former. Hey, might as well make sure mother's safe from placenta previa (or a placenta that's obstructing where the baby's supposed to exit at birth).

I hope I'm right in hoping that reality is as I choose to see it. No one knows, after all, how things really work, or are supposed to work. No one bothers to question the system anymore - no one tries to; we just settle and follow. I hope we are not deceived and blinded, misguided and misinformed. That there be no unseen devilish Cupid plucking out the arrows out of the wrong spots that we may make as many misses as evil desires.  

But if there is an award for the most consistent student in terms of exam results, I believe I may have a shot at winning it. The glaring exception that would ruin my case for me, of course, being Renal (but it doesn't matter as it's probably my favorite module). They rise, they fall, and I just watch them from my noble throne, sitting through the silences and ruckuses.  

I need to write something on youth and the way it thinks, its mind, the wisdom that it has within it yet to be tapped by the world. Today my parents have been married a good twenty-five years, and my dad, as is the case every year, woke up clueless as to the significance of the date. 

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