There is a feeling that is best experienced by those that may have failed their examination, at least once! It is not a feeling that you wish for your enemy. It is worse that the failure happens after writing an examination for which you have prepared several years to get to. It is not made better by the fact that after interrupted industrial actions by different segments of unions, working within the academia, the examinations arrived and then to be informed that you have failed to make it with 1 or 2 points!
That was the scenario I found myself in after writing my examination in one of the clinical subjects in the medical school.
Prior to the escapades of industrial actions, I was the tutor of my colleagues. I had memorised all the mnemonics that one would require for each clinical scenario that were prevalent at long and short cases then. I dramatised the scenarios with my willing colleagues. I could recount from my memory, the fact that I was nicknamed, "Prof".
All of that did not help me to get it right when the bearded Professor, wearing an overhanging medicated glasses glared at me with the questions from "old knowledge". I did not know that gouty arthritis was also known as "podagra". It was not clear to me the fact that medical students were expected to be able to see hypertensive retinopathy using the ophthalmoscope. One after the other, the questions continued to emerge from angles that I had least prepared for.
Interestingly, as if by a mechanism to ensure my colleagues passed, they were met by "better examiners", who asked them questions on facts that we had revised. Needless to say, one could overhear their questions coming from the other angle of the ward. They were questions for which I had answers at my finger tips. I could sleep-walk into the examination and answer them. I wondered why my own questions would not be like their own!
The outcome at last!
I failed. My colleagues passed.
If I knew this would be the outcome, would I have not participated in the discussions prior to the examinations? Was my engagements in discussions such that I became deprived of the extra knowledge I could have acquired to ensure my success?
The questions and regrets would not cease.
But it was only for a moment.
The resit examination came and then the finals.
Then we graduated.
Then we went for internships and then postgraduate medical studies. Then I met mentors.
Then the journey started; leading to where I am currently located.
I then realised one thing.
The journey may be slow, but it does not matter the speed as long as one keeps on moving. We will all get to the destination.
Keep on pursuing your career goals no matter the setbacks.