May is the time of year when I stop acting like an adult rational human being and become a gibbering wreak, obsessed with medicine, irrationally attacking my housemates1. May is exam time.
I've got quite good at the conventional sort of exams by now, I've been sitting them every summer for the past 7 years. In my year out I took an evening class because I rather missed them. I've got the good luck rituals sorted out. Don't revise the night before. Look through your notes instead, calmly of course. I may be nervous before the papers are given out, but then I turn it over, realise what I should have revised and the salvage operation begins. I'm quite good at it, even if I do say so myself. But I've passed three years and never failed an exam2 - apart from one that is.
That was a clinical exams, you go on a ward, exam a patient, the examiner watches and asks questions. Then you leave the ward and feel like crying, and the elderly ladies who run the 'League of Friends' 3 look at you sympathetically because they assume that you've just found out about the death of a parent.
I've got my second clinical exam on Friday. I'm typing this on Sunday, avoiding going to bed, because I'm scared of it. Scared that when I wake up, it will be exam week.
This is a short edition of 'A Baby Doctor Writes'. I'm going back to learning obscure causes of heart disease, and worrying.
And my Consultants tip? Don't Panic