Dear Medical School (or whom it may concern),
First and foremost, I want to thank you for today. Today, you helped me accomplish something that has been holding me back for years. If you will stick with me for just a moment, I have a story.
Many years ago, when I was in elementary school during the 1980's, we were required to take a physical fitness test. We were young, and proud to be American. As fourth, fifth and sixth graders....obtaining that certificate (signed by the president!!) that said you surpassed the requirements for the Presidential Physical Fitness award was the culmination of those grueling training sessions during recess. We all wanted to prove that not only were we worthy, but we were fit. Fit to be presidential fitness graduates. Fit to be the Americans our parents raised us to be.
Twenty-five sit-ups? Why yes, I'll do thirty.
Ten push-ups? I'll do twenty just to show off.
Jog a mile in under 10 minutes? I see your ten minutes and subtract TWO!
Bend over and touch your toes? NO PROB...
I never could do it. No matter how much I grunted and strained, or how much my devoted friends pushed on my back, I never could. My toes were just too far out of reach. My ankles only something of hopes and dreams! You could have coated my shoes in Hershey bars and $20 bills, but it wasn't about the Benjamins. For me, it just was always out of reach. Sure, my prowess in upper-body strength overshadowed my deficiency in flexibilty, so I still earned my reward...it just wasn't the same. I failed a portion of the test. This never sat well with me. As a perfectionist, I always strive to do better. So what if I obtained the certificate? I didn't pass all the requirements. My strengths in one area should not overshadow my weakness in others. I could have done better.
This has haunted me for the past 18 years. That is, until today.
Today, dear Medical School, you finally helped me accomplish what has held me back all those years in elementary school. This morning, during my Medical Physiology final, I finally surpassed that final hurdle that has prevented me from a perfect score on that coveted presidential fitness award. I have beaten my past demons.
Not only was I able to touch my toes this morning, but I bent over and grabbed my ankles for the duration of the 150 minute exam. I guess all these years have loosened me up, because it was almost too easy. I didn't need Hershey bars. I didn't need Benjamins. I didn't need devoted friends. All I needed was hypocalcemia and respiratory alkadosis to accomplish my task. All I needed was a complete lack of essential education and training to accomplish my goal. All I needed, dear Medical School, was your faithful dedication to the task of underpreparing me for what I actually need to know in order to perform well on standardized exams. You made it look almost too easy.
So once again, dearest Medical School, I want to thank you. Helping people achieve goals, whether long-term, short-term, or eighteen years in the making, is something to be proud of. Godspeed.
X-Posted to my own personal journal and med_students