Sunday, June 24, 2018

studying for the numbers

For the weeks leading up to my dental school boards, I spent as much of my time as possible sitting this very desk. There was so much material to cover and so little time to do it in. Honestly, this was a really rough time for me with being constantly overwhelmed. 
I love sharing the good sides of dental school here and with all the procedures and work that I get to do. But studying for this exam wasn't exciting and it wasn't easy. It was just constant stress and exhaustion. But I think it's important to share this side as well with all the real work that goes into pursuing this crazy career. Here's a glimpse of what studying for boards part the numbers was like. 

Only days off to study for my exam, compared to most dental schools that give their students a few weeks to study

256 pages read in 2 different boards study books 

1,416 practice questions answered and reviewed 

1,200 flashcards reviewed, though they are more like mini novels with how much material they cram onto one card. Ha! 

9 weeks without seeing my husband because me traveling to Boston on the weekends or even him coming here would have taken away too much focused study time 

4:30AM my normal wake-up time so that I could study for boards as much as possible before clinic...see my average day in the life while studying for boards

6 hours...the average amount of time I spent studying per day. I wish this number was higher, but it was all I could manage with also spending 8 hours a day seeing patients in clinic during this time 

8 stress pounds gained...mostly from eating out because I stopped making time to work out, grocery shop, and take care of myself 

14 excruciating days waiting to to find out how I did, only to learn that I was 2 percentage points short of where I needed to be
Yep, you read that right. I was just 2 measly points away from what I needed, which means that I'm going to have to go through this whole horrendous process again with sleepless days like this one. While I'm frustrated, I wasn't upset when I found out I missed the mark. It's rare to look back and not have regrets, but I can honestly say that I did as much as I could with studying for this exam and juggling everything the best way I could. I made huge sacrifices to study for this test...aka not seeing my husband for months. And unfortunately, it just wan't enough. But no one can say that I didn't try my damnedest to be successful this first go around. There just wasn't enough time for me to cover all the material AND take care of my patients, so I obviously chose the latter. I'm still doing some passive studying, but I've definitely decided to step away for now as I'm not planning to retest until the Fall. In the meantime, I've shifted my attention to other areas of my education. And I know that I will be where I need to when I sit for this exam again. 

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