The flood of relief at seeing a passing result on the screen was overwhelming. My emotions included a little joy and excitement of passing and becoming a fully board certified anesthesiologist, but mostly relief that I wouldn't have to undergo that painful hazing procedure again.
And just like that, I'm done. There is no next big exam looming in my immediate future. There will be recertification, but that's years and years from now. It's almost a little unnerving, the mental quiet that is inside my head. After over a decade of medical training, with the one career impacting exam after another hanging over me, always there in my thoughts, I'm finally done.
For the first time ever, my time is my time. When I come home after work, there is absolutely nothing else I should be doing except being home. There is no longer guilt and anxiety that all the time I'm playing with my kids, or watching a movie, or reading a book, that there is something else I should be doing. There is no studying I should be undertaking.
My time no longer belongs to the USMLE, or the ITE, or the AKT, or the ABA. My time belongs just to me.
Just to keep everything unbiased, here is Monkey's view of the whole oral board process...
(I was so surprised my mom past a huge test in a month. My mom's legs were shaking. Then...my mom past. I was so surprised.)