My first set of exams is this week, one where I have to demonstrate skills on a patient, a cadaver lab exam, an histology lab exam and then the giant written exam. The written exam will cover didactic material from all the courses (see earlier post for list). This exam is six hours long, two fifteen minute breaks and a half-hour lunch break. I'm currently occupied cramming information into my head to attempt more than 70% recall since that is the pass level.
The amazing thing is the collective level of stress in the class. When I'm home, I feel as though I have a lot to study and not enough hours in the day but that somehow I will get enough to do okay. When I'm in the classroom with 124 other people, most of whom need to be peeled off the ceiling, my anxiety jumps from barely noticeable to overwhelming and I can't hardly get my thoughts in order. I've always been receptive to a collective mood and right now my best survival mechanism is to stay away from anybody who appears stressed or overly anxious. These are also the folks who appear to be getting the least done as they run around the building and consult with everyone else in sight.
Hours fly by when I barely even take note of the time and before I know it, another day is gone and I'm closer to the proving ground for classroom material. My biggest interest lies beyond the classroom though, I'd rather be heading for the proving ground of patient care.