Ups and Downs

Well…my streak of getting A’s on exams is over. I ended up with a 78% on my Biochemistry exam and an 80% on my Medical Cell Biology exam. These were both a little bit disheartening on Tuesday. I know I should have done better, and I learned from the experience and I’m moving on. Thankfully those grades are still passing and were close to the average scores on the test. I am still making it. Some of my friends weren’t as lucky and failed the Biochemistry exam. It’s not the end of the medical school world for them but it doesn’t feel very good either knowing that you failed an exam. So, we take what we learned and move on. It’s all you can do. There isn’t time to take a day off because you had a tough time on tests. Each of us went to grab our things after the test and started preparing for the next set of exams right away. Such is medical school.

For a more uplifting side of the story, I learned this week about a man who was sick in the hospital. He had written home to his mother while he was in the hospital saying that he was, “Consistently and resiliently happy,” even though he was sick and in pain. That is what I’m working on being through medical school, although my situation obviously is much more pleasant than the gentleman in the hospital. When I am happy, I know that I am much more confident and motivated than I am when I am discouraged or frustrated. So, even when I don’t do as well as I want to on an exam or struggle to learn a concept from a lecture, I try to be resilient and persistent in finding and maintaining my happiness. It helps me to bounce back and get right back to work.

I also was reminded this week how much I appreciate having my wife and daughter with me! These last few weeks they were able to spend some time with family and friends in Colorado after our break a couple of weeks ago. They just got home yesterday, and I must say I am glad they are back! I always thought that if I was on my own going to college or living somewhere away from my hometown, that I would just live alone and would not have a roommate. I now realize that it’s difficult to be on your own and for those who are motivated enough to live alone and continue to push through each day, I commend you. There is something about having my family with me that helps me to maintain my focus and be much more motivated than I am when I am alone. I am thankful for them and the support that they give.

One more small note; we learned about doing a dermatological exam this week in our Clinical Medicine course. The professor was talking about toenail fungus and about how it’s really difficult to treat and so they usually won’t treat it unless it is causing problems. It brought me back to Pueblo Ankle and Foot Care and the options that they have like topical antifungal solutions with medicines like Tolnaftate and laser treatments for nail fungus! Although other providers may not have the resources to treat nail fungus, podiatrists usually do!

Have a great week everyone!

Levi Smith, PMAC & Podiatric Medical Student @ DMU

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