Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Anesthesia Oral Boards: a thing of the past!

We weren't supposed to find out our results till the 25th, but I happened to check online last Friday, and I PASSED my oral boards!!! The last hurdle! Finally, the rest of my life can begin. No more dissing the kids in favor of anesthesia flash cards. No more weekends & vacations spoiled by practice questions. WOO-HOO!!! Free from the shackles & tyranny of medical certification! No more, "Wait-I thought you already passed your boards." Those were the WRITTEN boards, which we needed to pass first in order to qualify to take our the stinking ORALS during our first year in practice. Before that there were also the USMLE steps, three in all, which were licensing boards. Passed those a while back. So it's all finally OVER! Done! I can live the life I want, read the books I want, think the thoughts I want, Hallelujah!

So what did I do to celebrate? (Besides the obvious & obligatory guzzling of champagne, play-time with husband & kids, etc.) I started taking oboe lessons! (My first one, in fact, was on the anniversary of my graduation from medical school.) Am I crazy, starting such a hard instrument in my thirties? Probably. But would I be crazy not to try to fulfill a lifelong wish now that I'm not chained to my anesthesia review materials? I think so.

Today's lesson was only my second. After sounding like a dying duck (I thought) while practicing at home, I felt a little better when my teacher said my tone was actually promising. She also made a huge difference by shaving several key millimeters off my reed, a commercial thing which came with the rental & which was too long, & therefore quite FLAT. I can see why oboists are so meticulous, & sometimes even neurotic, about their reeds! Getting those shavings off made a world of difference.

I can honestly say I am madly in love. Well, I have been as a listener, for years, but now that I'm trying to play, I'm REALLY in love. I know it's cliché that seeing Jeremy Irons playing "Gabriel's Oboe" in The Mission in theaters in 1986 was the source of my oboe longings, but there it is. That, and years of ballet - all that Swan Lake, the Wedding pas de deux in Sleeping Beauty, the adagio in Raymonda's Grand Pas Hongrois, not to mention non-ballet favorites like Amahl and the Night Visitors, Concierto de Aranjuez, Enescu's Romanian Rhapsody #2, Brahms' Symphony #3...I've been wistful for years!

Still, people have asked me, "Why oboe?" I also often get asked, "Why anesthesia?" I won't go into any deep reflections right now, except I notice they have a lot in common: they're unusual, elegant, mysterious, & challenging and require great attention to detail, dedication, and diligence. Maybe you have to be a little "different" to be attracted to them...who knows?

Addendum July 21, 2007:

If anyone's interested in checking out one possible path for preparing for the anesthesia oral boards, click here or at the link on the sidebar.


ET said...

So proud of my wife...and A.

vnswamy said...

hi you still have those flash cards!?