I failed Stage 5 of my NUMed MBBS course in 2019. You may think it's really unfortunate for me. However, I actually consider it to be a blessing in disguise. Why is that the case?
My position has always been that medical school isn't just about getting to the destination, but also about making the most out of the journey. Therefore, I have always wanted to enjoy every moment and to have a lot of good memories in NUMed. In particular, I definitely want my final year to be enjoyable, since it's the year that I will remember most after I graduate.
Stage 4 had been a wonderful year for me, and I was hoping that Stage 5 would be even better. A week before I began Stage 5 in late August 2018, the student group list for semester 1 was released. Looking at it, I thought that Stage 5 would be a great year for me.
Semester 1 of Stage 5 turned out to be really enjoyable. In fact, it was a whole new experience for me compared to the previous years. I loved the group I was in so much, and I really hoped that I would get to be in the same group for semester 2. In the end, my wish was granted, the student grouping remained the same for semester 2.
The beginning of semester 2 was just like semester 1, I had a really great time. The thought of having to separate with everyone when we graduate in a few months time made me feel very sad, so I made sure to treasure every moment I had with my group.
However, a tragedy happened on 27 February 2019 which led to a huge crisis. That changed everything. Out of sudden, the remainder of Stage 5 became so dull and so meaningless. Worse still, the good memories I had during semester 1 of Stage 5 also became meaningless because of that. Essentially, there was nothing left in Stage 5 that I would consider as good memories.
It didn't help that some of the people in the group I loved so much actually contributed to the tragedy and they also had some part in perpetuating the crisis. Even though the crisis got resolved eventually, things wouldn't be the same ever again. There was no way I could have any more good memories with that group.
Perhaps I should have moved to a different group. However, I was already in my last rotation, so it was very unlikely that NUMed would allow a group change. Even if I could switch to another group, with only a few weeks remaining in Stage 5 and everyone focusing on the final exams, I would only have little time with the new group.
At that point, it seemed like I was destined to graduate without any good memories in Stage 5. That would be really sad as I knew I would often think back of Stage 5 after graduating. I thought, if only I could have another year at NUMed with a new group of people, how great that would be.
I really regretted my actions that led to the whole crisis, but unfortunately it was already too late. In early April 2019, I began doing revision for the final exams. However, I couldn't really concentrate on doing revision as I was affected by the crisis.
At that time, NUMed opened the application for the 2019/2020 teaching fellow post. I thought of applying for it, but the crisis made me lose my self-confidence. Someone in my group also hinted that I shouldn't bother applying as I wouldn't stand a chance of getting the post. In the end, I didn't make an application, which I later regretted.
The Stage 5 final results was released in June 2019. It turned out that I failed the End of Stage MOSLER, which meant failing Stage 5 as a whole. Consequently, I had to repeat Stage 5 by joining the 2015-2020 batch. I didn't expect to fail, and I was so sad about that.
Then I realised something. By repeating Stage 5, I would get what I had wanted: An extra year at NUMed with a whole new group of people. I decided that I would make the most out of the opportunity to have good memories with them. That helped make me feel better about my failure.
Everyone else in my group passed successfully, so they would no longer be with me during my repeat year of Stage 5. After the whole crisis resulting from the 27 February 2019 tragedy, I certainly wouldn't feel sad about having to separate with them.
I began my repeat year of Stage 5 in late August 2019. I started making new friends in the new batch. I had never been more excited to make new friends, as in the past I had always tended to only mix with the people I knew well. I also sought to make myself a better person, who would be looked up to by my new friends.
In my repeat year of Stage 5, I have some really nice friends who give me a great experience throughout the year. I definitely have a lot of good memories with them, and that enabled me to fully move on from the 27 February 2019 tragedy. This year is surely very much better than my first year of Stage 5.
After I successfully passed my repeat year of Stage 5 in August 2020, I applied for the 2020/2021 NUMed teaching fellow post. Thanks to the experience I gained from teaching my friends during the repeat year of Stage 5, I successfully got offered the teaching fellow post.
Throughout my teaching fellowship at NUMed, I really enjoy teaching my students and they like my teaching too. I also have a very good relationship with my teaching fellow colleagues. I certainly have lots of great memories with my students and colleagues.
Now, I can say that it's definitely a blessing in disguise for me to fail and repeat Stage 5. My most favourite years in NUMed are my repeat year of Stage 5 and my teaching fellowship year, which wouldn't have happened if I passed Stage 5 the first time. I will keep remembering the great memories in these two years for a very long time to come. A small price to pay for salvation!