A favor from the community August 4, 2019 7:34 AM   Subscribe

Hello, mefites. I could use a favor: messages of encouragement. Details inside.

On Tuesday afternoon, I’m taking the USMLE Step 2 CS exam again. (This is the exam I took in the Spring that was misadministered, resulting in my not graduating from medical school.)

Normally, this is not an exam that medical students worry very much about. It’s pass/fail, and most people view it as a formality—even if they fail it, they just retake it and pass. But this is going to be my third time taking the exam (after a failure last Fall and the invalidated attempt this Spring), and it is both the primary reason I did not match in March, and the sole reason that I didn’t graduate as planned this May.

It has become a huge psychological hurdle for me, and as I have been preparing this weekend, I have frequently found myself overwhelmed.

So, the favor I am asking:

Please send me messages of encouragement over the next few days if you can, and mention me to others who know me but might not see this—even people who might think I wouldn’t want to hear from them.
- I would appreciate if the messages were not religious in nature, as religion is not where I find my own strength, though if you are a praying person, I would certainly appreciate knowing that you are praying for me
- I would also appreciate if the messages don’t downplay how difficult this is for me—it is very, very hard, especially because it will be two months or so before I learn my result
- Because I am studying, I will not be responding until after the exam is over, but I will gratefully be reading every single one

I’m posting this request in a few different places where I know I can connect to my communities; I draw immense comfort from connection and belonging. Thank you for being a part of my community, and for helping me feel that connection right now.
posted by ocherdraco to MetaFilter-Related at 7:34 AM (111 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

Sending memail.
posted by tractorfeed at 7:39 AM on August 4

Check your memail.
posted by bookmammal at 9:30 AM on August 4

✅ I have met this user in the real world.
✅ She is the best.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:31 AM on August 4 [45 favorites]

Sending you so much love xx
posted by ellieBOA at 9:38 AM on August 4

You are the bravest, strongest, and smartest. You will do this.
posted by Stanczyk at 9:42 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]

Sent you memail!
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 10:10 AM on August 4

May all the patients be interesting and may their differential diagnosis be fun to do. May you not have anyone with an obscure metabolic disorder.

If it were possible I'd totally go get a cheerleading outfit on and do silly cheers before you head into testing.

You are going to be an amazing doctor.

Sending about a million hugs to be taken when needed.
posted by sciencegeek at 10:34 AM on August 4 [4 favorites]

You're going to pass the stuffing out of this exam. A big old PASS. You're going to receive your medical degree, get matched, become an amazing and confident doctor, and this exam will fade into some bureaucratic mishmash that was a chore to get through at the time but that is long forgotten in your beautiful and fulfilling future.
posted by rue72 at 10:48 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]

Yep! I'm a hospital pharmacist and I failed the law exam for my state ten years ago. This is totally going to fade into a bureaucratic mishmash. All the testing has so little relationship to actual clinical practice. I've worked in a couple of hospitals and every now and then you'll hear someone talk about some exam they failed back in the day. And it never matters. Lots of excellent practitioners have failed some exam or other at some point. This is just another hoop you've got to jump through and you will jump through it and go onto a great future.
posted by selfmedicating at 12:13 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]

You've got this, ocherdraco! I believe in you and I can't wait to read your follow-up post telling us how it was a piece of cake this time!
posted by Lynsey at 1:08 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]

Cheering you on! *\o/* ~\o/~ *\o/* ~\o/~ *\o/* ~\o/~ *\o/*

Keep working hard. You can do this.
posted by wiskunde at 1:22 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]

That this has happened to you is random chance.
posted by amtho at 2:16 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]

This is shitty, and hard, and scary. And when you get through this you will understand how strong you are, and you will know that you have the capacity to get through lots of shitty, hard, scary things, and you will be so proud of yourself and so in awe of what a badass you actually are. Good luck.
posted by billiebee at 2:49 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]

Sent you memail.
posted by cheapskatebay at 2:50 PM on August 4

Sending you strong vibes. You got this!!
posted by msbubbaclees at 3:00 PM on August 4

There is a late night hot dog with "Medical School Graduate ocherdraco" written in mustard (ok, fine, I will allow ketchup just this once) waiting for you upon your passing of the test on Tuesday.
posted by bondcliff at 3:01 PM on August 4 [7 favorites]

You not only can do this, you are doing this. And you are rocking the hell out of it.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 3:13 PM on August 4

You've got this. Not because it's easy: it's not. It's quite hard.
But you've got this, because you're awesome like that and can do hard stuff. I'm sure of it and you should be, too.
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:20 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]

Sent you memail. Good luck!
posted by lollusc at 4:23 PM on August 4

I have absolute faith in you.
posted by theora55 at 4:32 PM on August 4

You are the mighty and benevolent ocherdraco and I know you will get through this. Cheering you on! ♥
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 5:47 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]

You can do this. Just a hurdle. It has nothing to do with what kind of physician you’ll be. Seriously.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 6:00 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]

You are awesome. I will send you more cookies if you require. IIRC, butterscotch chips were requested last time... just say the word.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:15 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]

Hey lady, you're great and smart and bureaucracy can fuck things up but you will vanquish this test - you're prepared, you're awesome, and I'm sending good thoughts your way!
posted by ChuraChura at 6:42 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]

Ocherdraco, this is a big challenge but you are up to it! You can do hard things, and your work and preparation will pay off. You are eating that elephant one bite at a time and you will get through it.

Sending you positive vibes.
posted by rpfields at 7:28 PM on August 4

This is a difficult thing, and harder still because you've waited so long to test again, but wow you are one tough person!

Deep breath! Get good sleeps! Eat breakfast, even just a little one.

I'm so glad you posted this here. Know that you have lots of friends here and we all think the world of you.
posted by mochapickle at 8:31 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]

Good vibes from the Netherlands here. You can do this, you ARE doing it and you WILL succeed.
posted by rjs at 10:45 PM on August 4

Sending you love and good vibes ! You are awesome.
posted by motdiem2 at 12:42 AM on August 5

Yay ocherdraco! I love your username. You have got this. You can do it. You will do it.

totally sent up a "Hey Lord- ocherdraco's exam!" prayer too. :)
posted by freethefeet at 2:25 AM on August 5

I'm rooting for you!
posted by Gordafarin at 3:49 AM on August 5

I'm sending you all kinds of hugs and good test thoughts! You got this! Soon it'll be behind you, and you can move on to the next step.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 4:48 AM on August 5 [1 favorite]

I am confident that you can do it!
posted by Rock Steady at 5:19 AM on August 5

Also: I'm humming the Indiana Jones theme music as you walk in the door to the exam.
posted by sciencegeek at 5:53 AM on August 5 [3 favorites]

posted by RolandOfEld at 8:29 AM on August 5 [1 favorite]

Good luck! Fingers crossed and lucky horseshoe consulted!
posted by TwoStride at 9:10 AM on August 5

I believe in you!
posted by blurker at 9:15 AM on August 5

Ocherdraco, retaking exams is really, really hard, but you have done the work and you can do this! I believe in you and your hard work and that you can slay this exam. You got this!

Sending you all the calm peaceful vibes you care to accept, and crossing my fingers for you.

♥ ♥ ♥
posted by larthegreat at 10:20 AM on August 5

I understand why this has become a hurdle for you, and I am confident that it's a hurdle you can overcome.
posted by box at 12:19 PM on August 5 [2 favorites]

I would be so incredibly irritated and frustrated in your shoes. But you can do this. You're prepared, you're working hard, and that's going to set you up to jump this hurdle and be on your way. Sending all the good vibes!
posted by EvaDestruction at 12:22 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]

If it gets overwhelming, stop and find the next baby step you can do, and the one after that, and the one after that. It's going to be uphill until it's over, but you're smart and you've worked hard and you can make it through this last stretch. You're almost there!
posted by Sequence at 12:29 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]

I believe in you. I've always valued your contributions here. As the spouse to a physician, and someone who supported her through all of her training, I know how stressful all this stuff is, even Step 2.
posted by advicepig at 1:05 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]

This stuff is so stressful! I had my own similar hurdle several years ago during graduate school and I'm happy to report it is now but a distant memory. I'm confident the same will be true for you!
posted by lucy.jakobs at 1:10 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]

I primarily see your non-medical contributions via social media, and you seem to be a bright, interesting, determined, involved person. All that strength is going to make you an awesome doctor. I hope you can draw on that and get through this difficult time and may it be one more thing that makes you strong.
posted by fiercecupcake at 1:30 PM on August 5 [4 favorites]

posted by rjs at 1:39 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]

I'll send you a card darling, and here's to your well-earned and well-fought for success in this and all you do!
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 2:12 PM on August 5 [4 favorites]

You've got this -- I have total faith in you!
posted by vers at 2:12 PM on August 5

I believe in you! I know this is hard, but you are stronger than it is, and you will kick it's ass.
posted by sarcasticah at 2:42 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]

Don’t forget to wear your lucky socks. (If you have lucky socks)
posted by sciencegeek at 3:33 PM on August 5

I mostly lurk but you are always one of my favorite Mefites. You are going to be an amazing doctor and your future patients don’t even know yet how lucky they are going to be. You can do this Hard Thing. Really truly for reals.

This internet stranger is cheering for you.
posted by somanyamys at 5:27 PM on August 5

Good luck tomorrow! I'm cheering you on.
posted by mixedmetaphors at 6:01 PM on August 5

Weirdly, I know someone else in (what sounds like) the exact same situation re: these end-of-med-school exams. Extremely intelligent capable person, like a certain ocherdraco I could mention. Point is, you are not alone in having had a vexing unexpected blip on this test and having to re-take it.

You got this. I'll be thinking good thoughts your way tomorrow.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 6:03 PM on August 5 [2 favorites]

Thinking good thoughts for you today. We're in your pocket.
posted by brainwane at 4:39 AM on August 6 [1 favorite]

Sending you best wishes today. You can do this!
posted by billiebee at 4:48 AM on August 6 [1 favorite]

Sending ALL THE POSITIVE THOUGHTS your way. Go get ‘em!!!
posted by bookmammal at 5:38 AM on August 6 [1 favorite]

All the very best ochedraco!! It was great meeting you the other day at the MA meetup. I'm sure you're going to kill this.
posted by peacheater at 5:55 AM on August 6 [1 favorite]

I’m rooting for you today! You’ve worked hard for this, you’ve earned it, you deserve it!
posted by obfuscation at 6:50 AM on August 6 [1 favorite]

Thinking about you and sending you all the good vibes!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:06 AM on August 6 [1 favorite]

I have huge empathy for anyone taking on giant standardized mandatory tests that are the bottleneck for a career. In my case it was the bar and I was deeply stressed. Thinking the best thoughts for you :)
posted by hepta at 7:38 AM on August 6 [1 favorite]

sending you all the good thoughts! this internet stranger is proud of you!
posted by gursky at 7:42 AM on August 6 [1 favorite]

Please count me as another internet stranger who is proud of you and sending very best wishes!
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 7:47 AM on August 6 [1 favorite]

Go, ocherdraco, go! This sounds really difficult but also like you're studying hard and getting support from all kinds of people who support you!
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:55 AM on August 6 [1 favorite]

Love you, stranger. Thinking of you. You got this. The toughest professor I ever had, who was also one of my favorite humans ever, once wrote on the board before a written test, "YOU ARE RUGGED AND I LOVE YOU." You are rugged and I love you.
posted by lauranesson at 8:07 AM on August 6 [9 favorites]

I’ll be rooting for you!
posted by Caduceus at 8:13 AM on August 6

Never met ya, but you always struck me as one of those awesome people in our MeFi interactions. Looking back, it seems obvious that you'd head towards med school.

Yes, Med school is hard. Yet here you are, moving forward with it. Despite setbacks, you are moving forward.

That alone shows you can do this and will triumph and for that, you have my admiration.

posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:57 AM on August 6 [2 favorites]

Here’s one
posted by growabrain at 9:11 AM on August 6 [1 favorite]

I have a dear dear friend, one of the smartest and coolest people ever, who had several setbacks with the bar exam and, once she passed it, became a completely kickass divorce lawyer to the stars. I'm not even being especially facetious. I have every belief that you can do the same, but for medicine! (And yes, I do recognize your username and am familiar with who you are, I promise this is a specific message for real actual ocherdraco!)
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 9:26 AM on August 6 [2 favorites]

You got this...🌞🙋💝
posted by Oyéah at 10:31 AM on August 6

Standardized tests are the worst, but you can do it! Here's a joke in your honor:

Q: What do you call someone who doesn't pass their step 2 exam until the third try?

A: Doctor.
posted by Ragged Richard at 10:33 AM on August 6 [5 favorites]

Sending you strength, calm, encouragement.
posted by theora55 at 10:45 AM on August 6

Cheering you on, while wearing a tiara and snuggling a newly rescued kitten! That’s good energy right there!
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 11:32 AM on August 6 [5 favorites]

I'm pulling for you!
Also, do yourself a favor and wear something you look fab in when you take your exam (favorite shirt/hat/whatever) so that later, years down the line when you're still having anxiety dreams about taking that damn test, there will be something awesome in the dream too, and you can smile about it. Good luck, you!
posted by heyho at 11:49 AM on August 6

Thinking about you today.

Depending on timezones, you may already be under way, but I will share my little visualization technique for tests and public speaking and similar things where I need to f'n concentrate but my brain would rather just make sizzling noises: think about your favorite kind of light. Maybe it's 10am sunshine on a slightly cool Saturday morning, or full moonlight so bright you can read by it, or that library light that comes from real-bulb green-glass-shade table lamps. Whatever light you like best. When you start to heave up and spin out during the test, imagine that light spilling all around you: on your hands, across your feet on the floor, on your back and over your shoulders. That light is there to give you calm clarity, time and space to think through your answers, confidence in your knowledge AND thoroughness to read and understand clearly each question. The light can bring you warmth if you need it, or a cool breeze if you need some air.

I hope you walk out of that room feeling calm and confident and knowing you did your best.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:12 PM on August 6 [15 favorites]

Best wishes to you!
posted by corey flood at 12:32 PM on August 6

Standardized tests are stupid, and you'll pass it this time and be a terrific doctor!
posted by LizardBreath at 12:57 PM on August 6

Sending a boost of energy in your direction.
posted by sciencegeek at 1:30 PM on August 6

I haven’t been online so I’m only seeing this now, but I’m sending you wishes and positive vibes! You’re probably done or almost done with the exam now, make sure you get your well-deserved break after!
posted by theappleonatree at 2:23 PM on August 6

Lyn Never, I really like your light thing and I wanna offer to whomever that weird yellowy glow of flat Midwest spaces when it's been so so hot all day and it's nearly dusk and the storm is rolling in and everyone finishes their daily things early so you can all sit together on the west side of the house. And then you can see the lightning coming around and then you can count the seconds until the thunder and you can worry later because right now you're all together and the storm is coming, it's right over there, but you're all okay and have a roof and have taken that care and you can just watch it come over here. You can know you're so small on the planet, not to even mention the rest of stuff, but you can know you're so small and have taken care of people and have been taken care of. And then you can sit on the porch that someone made sun tea on earlier that someone else put into the fridge and you can pour that for other people.

Anyway, that's the light I like, I guess. When the sky turns a weird color and the storm is coming and you are safe and you have made sure other people are safe. Maybe there'll be a tornado! Who even knows.
posted by lauranesson at 2:36 PM on August 6 [4 favorites]

The moral is, dear ocherdraco, this is some kinda yellow sky that is not actually going to flatten you. You're in that test/storm now, or done with it, but either way, you are rugged.
posted by lauranesson at 2:38 PM on August 6 [2 favorites]

Are you still taking the exam? I hope it's going so well for you! Actually I hope it's over and you feel good about it because you did well!
posted by Duffington at 2:39 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]

I hope everything's gone swimmingly. Unlike my good intentions to write something nice and heartfelt before you got in the exam.
posted by ambrosen at 3:23 PM on August 6 [2 favorites]

Sending you the very best wishes!
posted by topophilia at 3:44 PM on August 6

You got this!!! You're going to be a great doctor! Big hugs & bigger love.
posted by 6thsense at 7:16 PM on August 6

I know this is late, but I hope that the test went well for you! And now it’s over and you can treat yourself to something nice.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 7:17 PM on August 6

It’s over. I was miserable the whole time. But now I have Doritos and wine. So I’ve got that going for me.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:21 PM on August 6 [58 favorites]

But boy oh boy, do I ever recommend reaching out and asking for encouragement in similar situations. The messages I received here and elsewhere made such a huge difference today: I felt miserable in my situation, but secure in my self worth. And that was an incredible gift. Thank you.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:27 PM on August 6 [35 favorites]

What flavor Doritos? What kinda wine?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:34 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]

Nacho cheese and Sauvignon Blanc. One would feel that cool ranch would pair better, but that seemed too zesty for right before bed.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:51 PM on August 6 [5 favorites]

And I have to wonder: has Frito Lay intentionally chosen the package size of 2 7/8 oz because it results in 420 calories, or is that just stoner serendipity?
posted by ocherdraco at 8:54 PM on August 6 [17 favorites]

(And bondcliff: I would do a great deal for a late night hot dog right now.)
posted by ocherdraco at 8:54 PM on August 6 [3 favorites]

I know I said something similar in my MeMail, but the nice thing about difficulties with this sort of a professional test is that so many of your future colleagues will immediately connect with what a miserable experience that was for you. I imagine. I've never had a similar experience.
posted by Caduceus at 8:55 PM on August 6

Oh yes. I’ve had so many messages to that effect. Across fields.

I’m just hoping that I’m finally going to get to leave this awful limbo.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:00 PM on August 6 [3 favorites]

D O R I T O S & W I N E
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:22 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]

2 7/8 oz because it results in 420 calories

I was going to make a joke about it actually being 30-50 calories in 3-5 ounces, but then I realized you have probably been too busy to have necessary caught up on the whole feral hogs thing, so if you need something very stupid to go laugh at over chipwine I recommend it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:25 PM on August 6 [3 favorites]

I logged onto twitter briefly in the midst of that and was very confused until friends explained.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:22 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]

But boy oh boy, do I ever recommend reaching out and asking for encouragement in similar situations. The messages I received here and elsewhere made such a huge difference today: I felt miserable in my situation, but secure in my self worth.

We have a fucking-fuck thread for venting and a yuking-yuk thread for jokes: Perhaps a regular group "I need a pep talk" thread?

I actually really could use one these days to be honest
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:01 AM on August 7 [11 favorites]

I was about to procrastinate my laundry for the nth time but told myself, "ocherdraco did The Thing; laundry is easy by comparison. Be bold like ocherdraco." Thank you for inspiring me into clean clothes. :)
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 9:45 AM on August 7 [12 favorites]

You have done hard things and you can do hard things. Waiting so long to get the results is hard but see above!
posted by Bella Donna at 12:45 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]

Happy that your test is over and hoping that the next few months are filled with fun and fulfilling experiences. When you get your results, we will celebrate your hard work and all of the smarts in your head and the excitement in your future!

So Doritos and wine? Hmmmm. It's a breath nightmare, but could be worth it.
posted by heathergirl at 3:07 PM on August 7

Ocherdraco, I think about you more often than you know. This PNW witch is sending you every bit of love and care and energetic holding that I can muster (my weirdo witch version of prayers, haha.) I am holding just a bit of how hard it is from over here. You can do the hardest things - you have shown yourself that already. Much luck on your test and thinking of you. <3
posted by fairlynearlyready at 6:16 PM on August 7 [3 favorites]

late to all of this, but for the record, I've always found this Nocturnal Emissions track to be absurdly inspirational ... in spite of the deep sarcasm at its root. Something to do with paradox, I guess.

posted by philip-random at 11:37 PM on August 7

You have so got this! I'm ready for your celebration.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 1:38 AM on August 8

You will pass this hurdle and someday, someone will thank you for saving their life or that of a loved one.
posted by double block and bleed at 3:54 AM on August 8

Also, you are an awesome karaoke friend.
posted by crush at 10:08 AM on August 8 [1 favorite]

Oh! I just memailed you thinking it was NEXT Tuesday and I was so excited to cheer you on I didn't read carefully!! MY MEMAIL STILL STANDS and I will continue to hum great energy into the universe because you are wonderful!
posted by missmary6 at 12:00 PM on August 8

Y’all are just spoiling me now.
posted by ocherdraco at 4:45 PM on August 8 [4 favorites]

It's nice to be nice to the nice. /frankburns
posted by heyho at 7:01 PM on August 8 [1 favorite]

I’m a bit late, but I’m a previous medical student, who failed a stupid administrative thing, and now I am a (junior) doctor with good feedback from colleagues and patients who bring in their parents and children because they feel I am a good doctor. I have seen your contributions here, and you care, and that will make you a good doctor too. Take care of yourself in the wait for results.
posted by quercus23 at 9:43 PM on August 8 [7 favorites]

How did it go? How are you doing?
posted by Mchelly at 8:41 AM on August 11 [1 favorite]

Y’all are just spoiling me now.

posted by ocherdraco

And rightly so.
posted by Jane the Brown at 2:29 PM on August 12

How did it go? How are you doing?

I have no idea how I did. It’s really hard to tell. (They don’t give you any guidance on how things are scored.)

I’m doing well, though! Going to the gym, unpacking my apartment, working on residency applications. If it weren’t for the cause of it, and for the mountain of anxiety surrounding taking the exam, this would be a very good summer indeed.
posted by ocherdraco at 5:43 PM on August 12 [9 favorites]

Missed this until today for various reasons, but I'm cheering for good results!
posted by rmd1023 at 1:07 PM on August 13

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