It probably is natural to get nostalgic as I see the wave of mixed feelings of depression, frustration and stress swamping those who were unable to get through the theory exam this time. These feelings are absolutely legitimate, after all the exam did cost you a lot of sacrifices like personal time, family time, social time, financial restrains and physical and mental pressure. An added stigma is when you feel that those around you, close to you and important to you also get affected with this. So, I felt the urge to show you another side of the picture that may help alleviate this grief.
Now, as you feel devastated on your results, hold on for a few moments and think: If you had passed the written, were you ready for the OSCE?
A simple answer to this is NO. And how would it feel after passing written, spending more money and time on OSCE just to fail it and then starting from a point where you needed to resit in the written again? Worse even that there is no guarantee that once you have passed the written you would pass it again also. I can say this with such a confidence because I have been through all these stages and would like to share my personal experience with you today.
So, it happened after a back breaking effort that I passed the written exam. I had studied very hard day and night, along with a very demanding job and a few months old baby. And then flew to London for the OSCE. I stayed there for a month without family and flew back the same night after the exam as I wasn’t able to wait one extra hour to be back with my family. After coming back, I had to face the worst feeling of my life when my few months old baby didn’t even recognize me as a mother. It was like a whole new beginning, like a nanny who starts a new job and begins to create bonds with the child.
This was something I wasn’t prepared for and can never explain in words how painful it was to find my own child looking at me and dealing as if I was a visitor or a stranger in the house. It was two days later that the result came out and I had failed the OSCE. And…. the whole circle started again without a break. I could never get a proper dedicated time to heal the damage that was done between my bonding with my child. It was an overwhelming feeling of neither being a good mother, nor a good professional.
And on top of this all, there was no surety if I would pass the written next time. When I was coming back after the OSCE, I purposely discarded all my notes there in London thinking that if I pass the exam I won’t need them again and if l don’t, then these notes were not helpful to meet RCOG standard. So, I started all over again from scratch as if I had never read the course before. I prepared all the notes again, this time I was so determined and I knew nothing can stop me to pass. I had been through a failure and I had promised myself I would use every single moment of that failure as my teacher and guide.
This time everything was different, I was different. There was literally nothing that could stop me from getting through the exam till the end. I never took a break even for a single day after the written exam and started OSCE prep from the very next morning because I had no more time to lend to another failure. I passed the written, no celebrations this time, it was a very quiet success because this time I looked at it as another potential damage. This saga ended the day I passed my OSCE and was finally an MRCOG.
The moral of the story is that failing written exam is a blessing in disguise because it gifts you the best teacher of your life – FAILURE. It’s a shame if you don’t make use of it and keep pouting on your results. If you get what I mean, kick start your venture again but make sure you don’t repeat the mistakes. There is nothing that can’t be achieved if you work in the right direction but there is a price to pay for everything in life.
To be MRCOG is no exception and it’s your own choice how you make it affordable for yourself. Remember, success comes by choice, not by chance.