More Than Average

Quote: I didn't come here to be average

Recently I found that medical school culture is driven by “P equals MD” to a fault. Don’t get me wrong, being at a  pass fail school is great since you only have to worry about passing and not getting a certain letter grade (I talked more about this in one of my other posts here). However sometimes I think this mindset sometimes leads to an environment where those who try to go above and beyond are criticized. I’ve seen people who are very active on campus or those who are straight killing the game academically get told (to their face and behind their back) that they’re being extra or doing too much (I’m sorry, but since when has being excellent turned into a bad thing?).

Currently I’m studying for the USMLE Step 1 exam which is the first of many board exams I’ll have to take. I had a conversation with a classmate about our goals and he told me that I was being too ambitious and didn’t need to score as high as I wanted for the speciality I want to go into. I let it go because I realized it was my fault for sharing too much (not every body needs to know your plans – discretion is key) but I still felt some residual worry that I was doing something wrong by trying to be the best I could be.

Anyways today @meikoandthedish (find her on instagram) posted the picture above and I couldn’t help but share. It served as a reminder that IT’S MORE THAN OKAY for myself and others to go try to go above and beyond. And regardless of what the status quo is, it’s okay to want to kill the game and it’s okay to be the best Trisha I can.

To all my medical school friends remember that we didn’t come here to be average. So whether it’s a block exam, anatomy practical, or even step 1, set your goals high and don’t be ashamed to do so. In fact being above average is what got you into medical school in the first place. To those of you in the step 1 struggle, here’s to surrounding yourself with encouraging positive study partners and achieving scores of 240 because we’re too great to settle for average, let’s strive for excellence.

-xo, Trisha

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6 Comments

  1. Louise
    April 1, 2016 / 12:31 pm

    Just stumbled upon your blog via instagram. As you rightly say, being above average is what got you (us) to medical school! My school (in the UK) is also pass/fail BUT the pass mark is variable and we don’t get told the pass mark til afterwards, (we have statistics to give us an idea) so we have to work our butts off to make sure we’re ahead of the game. Besides, what if the specialty the other person is going for suddenly becomes really popular and they don’t get the score. Erring on the side of caution and working hard is always going to pay off! Go for your dreams!

    • April 1, 2016 / 8:45 pm

      Hi Louise! That’s crazy how your school won’t tell you the pass rate until after an exam. But I’m sure there’s a method to the madness and it works out in the best interest of most of the students. You’re definitely right about needing certain grades especially if you’re considering a competitive specialty and I agree that if we work hard it’s going to pay off! Thanks for stopping by & commenting, I love interacting with readers especially international ones! -Trisha 🙂

  2. April 1, 2016 / 8:43 pm

    YESSS! I was literally just thinking this the other night when I was taking a shower (tmi? maybe.) Anyways, I think P=MD is overrated. It’s saying to do the bare minimum. How will barely passing prepare a student for the boards? That just means they’ll have to work that much harder for a score, whereas if you are trying to master the material as early as possible, there is more time for repetition and therefore retention. I mean, I definitely have had my struggles, but now it’s like, if I’m not hitting the classes average at a minimum, I’m studying harder.

    We also need to remember that people are going to trust us with personal decisions, their wellbeing, and their lives. Do they really want a doctor that just passed?! I think not. However, I do think that if someone is trying their hardest, then that is good and they need to remember to pat themselves on the back for trying!
    (Don’t you hate the fine line between doing well and studying to insanity?!)

    Anyways, I always love reading your posts Trisha!

    • April 19, 2016 / 3:43 am

      Aww thanks so much Cherish! I love reading your comments! And yes the line between doing well and insanity is a very thin one. But you’re so right… a lot of this is about trying our hardest and I have to remember to keep that in mind especially during this step study period!

  3. Jennifer
    February 5, 2017 / 10:58 am

    I love this, I am in my “pre-med” (its nursing) and I’m a pretty exceptional student if I do say so myself and sometimes I get flack for it but I think there is no shame in trying and succeeding in excellence 🙂

    • February 7, 2017 / 1:21 pm

      Congrats on doing so well in your studies! And there’s no shame in my game either! See you at the top! lol

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