I didn’t realize how anxious I had become about getting my Step 1 score until late Wednesday afternoon when I still had not gotten the promised page from the Office of Student Affairs. We had been given strict instructions to not call in bothering them until we had been paged. Scores come out each Wednesday and most of my class was expecting their result this week. In fact I checked the NBME website early Wednesday morning and learned that my score was indeed being released that day. So I waited and waited and waited but the page never came. Uh oh! That seemed like a bad omen to me. They were probably calling all of the passers first. My mother is in town from New Mexico and was taking the family out for my belated birthday dinner, so I tried to just forget about it and enjoyed a great steak. But by Thursday morning my nerves were on edge again, and when my pager went off at 8:30 I almost came out of my white coat. I was between patients at the clinic where I am doing my Family Medicine rotation and I jumped to the phone to call home base. Busy. I gave it 5 seconds and called again. Ms. Virgina, the superlative secretary of the office, apologized for not getting to me the day before and told me they had good news for me. The rest of the conversation was just gravy. The Dean of Student Affairs came on the line to give me my score and with that I was officially an M3. The thing about the Step is that there are so many truly difficult questions to separate the top few percentiles of test takers that us middle of the packers are left somewhat bewildered. I mean I thought that my preparation was sufficient to get the job done, but when you come out of the test you just can’t be sure.
Friday was my last day in the clinic. The four weeks just flew by and I had a lot of fun. Most of the things I saw were pretty routine. Sore throats, headaches, hypertension, lower back strains, diabetes, etc. There was the occasional laceration to be sutured, the ingrown toe nail to be cut out, and a couple of flexible sigmoidoscopes to watch. Tomorrow I will begin the final two weeks of the rotation which are done at the Baptist Medical Center. One good thing about the M3 year it seems is the variety. If you don’t like what you’re doing one week, it’s OK because it will be liable to change the next week.