I would like to apologise for this post being really late, I wrote it over a week ago, then pressed save rather than publish, and went on holiday. The holiday was lovely, but I realise that I need to actually press the right button!
Despite having found out I had passed my finals almost 2 months ago, I have been working as a medical student in the hospital, getting ready for the job of 'doctor' come August. The idea still makes me feel excited and/or scared. However, the gruelling life of a medical student has come to an end for me. This was the last week I am going to spend in hospital as a medical student, and was topped off with my graduation ball. This week I introduced myself as a medical student for the very last time, I did my last referral as a medical student (where, ironically, I got a grumpy doctor who refused to talk to medical students as it was 'inappropriate') and signed myself off as "Internal Optimist, Medical Student" at the bottom of the notes for the last ever time. It is so exciting to think that, after a months holiday, I will be writing "Dr Internal Optimist, GMC *******" at the bottom of the notes instead. 6 years of hard work, not including all of the school work and preparation before university, have gone into this end point.
But I am not really sure how to feel.
The ending has been a bit spread out; I was really happy to finish my finals, and overjoyed to have passed them, but then I have been working as a medical student for the last 1-2 months. I haven't really had any real 'you are finished forever' moment, which is arguably a good thing. I am so glad after each 'hurdle' that I manage to make it over, I am not sure I would be able to handle all of it at once. Although I will never be introducing myself as a medical student again, I still have one 'hurdle' left - graduation. After graduation, when I have that certificate in my hand, I will feel as though it is well and truly over. It will probably be quite an emotional day, not just for me, but for most of my year.
So I am slightly confused about how to feel at the moment. I am very relieved that I have made it despite friends who were just as able as me dropping out of the course throughout the last 6 years. I am really happy to have made my main 'life goal' over the last 7 years or so. Most of the last 7 years have been aimed at getting into and passing this course, then getting a good set of rotations afterwards, all of which I have managed to achieve.
But I still feel a bit uneasy. Perhaps it is a sense of 'what now' - having such a long term goal fulfilled leaves me wondering what I should be aiming at now. Perhaps it is the fear of working as a doctor next year; a job where patients put a huge amount of trust in you, and where a simple mistake can have disastrous consequences.
Don't get me wrong though, I really am happy to finish this course and graduate, it is just there is a slight grey lining to my radiant silver cloud. After graduation, I think the only way that I am going to feel more relaxed about this is by starting work in August, and proving to myself that I can do this job. After all, I have spent 6 years preparing for it, I should be ready by now!