a young pakistani doctor blogs...
Thursday, December 01, 2005
  Do-or-die time
My silence in the blog these last few days is largely due to not wanting to chronicle my daily activities during this time. I fell off the bandwagon and I didn’t really want to write about it. For several days now, I’ve been doing very poorly in the study side of things. Things have come to the stage where I now realize that if I don’t come down hard on myself and get meet my targets everyday without fail from now till the day of my exam, I’ll just end up disappointing myself terribly. I just cannot, under any circumstances, for whatever reason fail in my goals. I need to score very highly. I need to get that residency. So much in my life depends on getting this right. So much depends on what I do in these next few months.

I was knocked off the bandwagon when I ‘wasted’ an entire morning taking my mother to the hospital for some check-ups. She could have gone alone, but I thought it was best if I go with her because what kind of a son (or doctor) would I be if I didn’t go with my own mother to the hospital. When I came back, I got involved in some other family matters that distracted my attention and the whole day went off kilter. Since then I’ve decided to change my timetable and become totally nocturnal. That way I’ll be awake when everyone else is asleep and no one from the household can bug me to do chores or to help them with some problem. I know it sounds really selfish, but I have to be selfish for my time here. I absolutely cannot say ‘no’ to anyone- I don’t want to disappoint – but at the same time, not everyone in the house appreciates that I’m not available to get groceries or answer the doorbell whenever it rings. Besides that, the peace and quiet of the night a wonderful time to get lots of work done. I’ve had trouble trying to change the timetable, but after a few days, I’ve finally readjusted my body clock. I’m a beast of the night now!

From now on though, I’ve really got my back to the wall. I’ve exhausted all the wiggle room I had in the timetable I set for myself. Now, if I don’t get cracking and stay the course, it will very simply mean that I won’t make it. I think somewhere, in the back of my mind, I’ve assumed that I will make it, simply because the consequences of not making it would be so depressing. I think I have to rewire myself and affirm to myself that unless I start working for it, I really won’t make it and all the horrible things I envision happening as a result of my failure will indeed come to pass.

This time is so very important. Perhaps in no other time in my life will my future lifestyle and way of living be so profoundly influenced by my actions as in the following months. I can be hard of myself and make my life miserable now, so that it can be easier later, or I can continue to wallow in the numerous defense mechanisms I employ to ease the pain. My life is in my own hands. It will be what I make of it. The more profoundly I accept this into my psyche, the better my odds will be.
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Recent med school graduate from Peshawar, Pakistan. Started blogging when in throes of final year exams. Currently studying for USMLE Step 1. Aiming for the 2008 Match. I blog about my studies, my worries, and my thoughts on life. I live in Islamabad.

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