Freedom: Is This What Your Mind Experiences Before and After PLAB 1 and 2?
Hello, This is Dr. Tarun Puli, an IMG from India. I have recently cleared my PLAB 2 examination and registered with GMC. I am an aspiring Paediatrician to be, yet to start my role as a Clinical Fellow in the Academy of Surgery at the Barking, Havering, and Redbridge University Trust, Romford. Today, I'm going to discuss the role of freedom in the PLAB journey.
What just happened?
POV-1: Hip, Hip, Hurray! You cleared both PLAB exams, and there's a 10,000 kg weight off your chest. You can sense the Serotonin, Endorphins & Dopamine rushing through your vessels humming Eureka!!
POV-2: Alas! You saw the four-letter word on your results page, which you never intended to see- "FAIL". Right now, you're experiencing a feeling of impending doom alongside Cortisol running through your vessels to control the stress barging upon every possible cell of the body.
What can be done?
Solution 1: Apply for GMC Full Registration with License to Practice as soon as possible. Look out for clinical attachment or job; accept whichever cokes your way first. Last but not least, Have a blast; you cleared the exam!
Solution 2: Take your time to absorb the news. Not clearing this exam doesn't mean you're unworthy. Start looking for a later date within your visa validity so you can give it another attempt. Talk with your loved ones, and open up! Take a sabbatical to assess what's happening and what needs to be done. After all, nothing is more important than your mental health.
You might be thinking, why Tarun mentioned freedom here…? Isn't it out of context?
Nope, that's the elephant in the room. I'll explain why!!
We all come to Manchester hoping to break a leg in the exam, but we crack our heads on how to clear the same. Sadly, that's the case with almost every doctor giving the exam, which is quite natural. What you can do instead is to give your mind "the freedom to be itself, to act & react how it want to." Trust me, even though it sounds silly, this works out.
If you want to cry, just open the dam gates, and let the tears flood through your eyes.
If you want to be alone and do nothing for a while, just escape to your go-to zone, and enter Zen mode.
Want to watch a movie, go for it!! Music lover?? They say walls have ears; let them hear the music as well… If you feel like talking to a loved one, go meet them or dial them up!! Just don't pressurize your think tank into reading/mugging up what you already know in the pretext of the exam the day before. You've done your part; try to be yourself (easier said than done).
I still remember 12 August 2022, the day I was pretty sure I'd fail my PLAB 1 exam minutes after coming out of the exam centre. I haven't eaten anything for the next 2 days. Then, I went to meet my friends. This actually helped me; talking with them for a while relaxed my mind; I understood the reality that I can't do anything now but face the result, whatever it might be.
I think my pillow will remember 04-April-2022 well because it absorbed all the tears I let out for approximately one hour, and trust me, I had a peaceful sleep after that. Trust me, that works. Not the crying part, but letting your mind be itself before and after the exam, however the situation be.
After my results, I couldn't believe I had cleared the exam. I rushed to the washroom & let the happy tears roll out for about 5 minutes. Later, I felt like hosting a big party for which I obviously didn't have the money!! Then, I returned to earth from cloud nine and realized I must apply for my GMC Registration.
What do you think is the difference between the 2 times I cried? Don't say that I'm too emotional, and I know it already. The point I want to push into your think tanks here is:
Let the emotions flow out. Give yourself the freedom to be yourself irrespective of what comes out of your mind at that time.
What is FREEDOM according to you in this context? I'll be looking out in the comments!!
Please read this article before and after your exam and let me know what's different both times.
My first article- PLAB 2, A First Timer's Buck Fever? How to Handle The Stress Before The exam & this one are part of my tiny little efforts through TrewLink to celebrate the importance of Mental Health during October (Mental Health month).
Need more help?
Please let me know how your day went in the comments and how you felt before and after the exam. If you have something to speak out about, you can reach us at trewlink.com.
You can register and find me using this link: https://trewlink.com/?referrer=tar630001
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I would love to hear your stories on how it went for you… Do let me know in the comments.
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Let the emotions flow...Give yourself freedom!!
Dr Tarun Puli.