Please or Register to create posts and topics.

My Journey to Power

PreviousPage 14 of 20Next

Thank you very much!

These are thoughts after my last practical exam of paediatrics that I passed today successfully.

When I was studying medicine in university I cheated once at an exam for 1 question in a moment of weakness. And the guilt haunted me for many years. I told only a select group of people and keep it mostly a secret. To me for a long time it signified that everything that I did after was not earned and was fake. Rationally, though over 10 years of doing medicine and I cheated once I think it's not a big deal. It was also the time where I worked a lot on honesty and I do consider myself a honest man. Also I think I did not hurt anyone and my patients are happy that I'm their doctor.

Call it karma or whatever, today at the final oral exam as I was waiting for my turn I was tempted to look up things on my phone. I did not, based on the previous lesson years ago.

One of the questions out of 3 happened to be the same that a friend had last week. She told me about it so I studied it. And today it came up. In that situation was I to say: "Oh actually I know the question from one of my colleagues who passed the exam last week". So I pretended that I did not know that it was asked recently. I could see in her eyes that she was wondering if I knew or not. Anyway, I did not know the whole case so I made a few mistakes anyway.

The truth is that even if I did not know there would be this question I would have passed. Also from year to year, we pass to one another a list of the questions from the previous year. So it's a form of either solidarity or systemic cheating, depending on the frame chosen. That being said, we do not sign anything that says we're not supposed to talk about the cases between us.

So I think that it's their fault and responsibility to have the same question come back in the same session of an oral exam.

That being said, tonight 2 things struck me:

1. I feel a lot of guilt for not having told the examiner that I knew they asked this question last week.

2. We have a whatsApp group that we use to share articles, powerpoints, info about the exam (I created the group and gave tons of info and value through it on top of the value of allowing the exchange of information).

In this group, my colleague shared last week the 3 questions she had at her oral exam.

I shared my questions in the group today. My colleague highlighted that I had the same question as hers, therefore everyone else as well. They congratulated me though.

That means that the 13 people of the group know that I had the same question as her and that I knew about it beforehand. (As I said, I studied it out of fear and to learn as well, I would never have guessed it would come up in the exam).

I am quite scared that someone from the group will reveal this information to the examiners who work in this hospital, let's call it Trenton hospital.

One of the member of the group, with whom I have a relatively good relationship will work at this hospital as an attending physician in May 2023.

I'm afraid that she will reveal this info intentionally or unintentionally to her future bosses at the Trenton hospitals (who were my examiners).

However, it's quite unlikely as she would need to mention my name specifically (there is no reason she would). If she would, she would also have to admit that she was in the group where we shared the topics we had at the exam.

I never in a lifetime expected for a question to come back as we know it's not good practice if sessions are spaced people could communicate in-between oral exam sessions.

So factually: I did not break any rule, I studied hard, I worked hard, I knew the topic enough and would have passed anyway (I have a great mark for the 3 topics), it's their responsibility, we did not sign any paper, I did not hurt anyone and I did not lie (they did not ask me if I knew there would be this question).

However, I pretended to not know that this question was there previously and since I had a great relationship with both examiners during the exam I do feel dishonest. We exchanged our origins with one, and other things with the other, we thanked each other mutually several times: in short, tons of mutual respect.

I think I feel easily guilty where people would not and at the same time. However, I do feel it kind of stains my victory a bit. I do think I deserve my diploma though, as I do have the required knowledge and skills.

As you can imagine, any feed-back from you on this would be very helpful for me.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Hey John,

the questions you ask yourself are very interesting and touch upon a subject (guilt) which I have been reflecting many times upon.

My take here is that you did nothing wrong. As you say, no rules forbid test-takers to speak with one another before or after the test.

So I see it as a matter of personal feelings and accumulated guilt. Meaning, the situation could be indicative of a need to examine your feelings and check if there is something that needs to come out from the past, or alternatively if you may need to distance yourself from someone who may be actively guilt-tripping you.

I’ll also add that in your case, based on what you say about the prior situation many years ago, guilt worked. Guilt is precisely supposed to operate by driving people to change for the better, and it’s what it did for you. So I see that as a success in self-development.

With reference to the present situation instead, based on what you write, feeling guilty seems excessive, and that’s why I write about checking if there is something else above.

By the way many congratulations for passing the exam!

Lucio Buffalmano and John Freeman have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoJohn Freeman

Thank you so much, dear Bel!

Your post is heartwarming and comes from the heart (and mind of course) I see. Your perspective is helpful to me for seeing more clearly here.

Yes, there is actually underlying guilt from the past for several reasons. I'm not going to dive deep here as I would need to dig deep on my side first. It does still live within me. I still want to find a therapist (on my agenda to call him this afternoon actually). So this is a great topic to talk with him. Now I'm aware it's something I have to address. I'll be happy to share here what I will learn. There are still some things from my past I have not dealt with it seems.

So I see that as a success in self-development.

Thanks for the compliment, it means a lot to me.

Have a great week-end!

I'm taking this opportunity to change my last sentence from the previous post from this:

As you can imagine, any feed-back from you on this would be very helpful for me.

To this:

I'm happy to read your thoughts on this. It was a bit challenging yesterday emotionally (It probably triggered past guilt I have not dealt with yet) but today I feel much better after a good night of sleep.

Lucio Buffalmano and Bel have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoBel

It's a pleasure John, talk soon.

Lucio Buffalmano and John Freeman have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoJohn Freeman

Some quick notes as I read:

Seeking info on past exams is normal, expected, and even good (see next point)

This is one of those things that "baked in" in the exam format: whenever available or possible, people will seek out information on previous exams.

If one wanted the exam to measure people as completely unprepared, then the type and format of the exam should change.
If it doesn't, then it's totally fair, normal, and expected that (good) students will seek out information on past exams, including questions, format, examiners' personalities, pass rate, average grades, etc.

People who prepare on previous questions are probably better prepared on everything else and better professionals than those who do not

If one were to run a study on who makes for better doctors (or any other profession) based on "who took pain to learn what was asked in the past VS those who did not", my guess is that the group who learned from past exams are better professionals in general.

To me, it's just pure logic.

That's because looking at past exams shows that people care and take steps to do the best they can.
At the moment, they're still only caring about themselves, but at least they care about something, and chances are higher that they care in general compared to those who don't even care about themselves.

The other group ubstead is people who don't even  care about their own results.
It's a non-starter.
How can you expect them to care to change and improve their world, their environments, or the life of others?

Real-life example: naive long-road traveler VS effectiveness seeker (me)

Two examples prove little, but they may still tell you something.

All my university life I've sought out all information I could from previous exams and focused my preparation around lists of questions.

When the books were interesting or good, I read them for personal growth and took copious notes and looked for further information -and it seems to me John that's also what you do-.
And when the books were what I deemed to be useless BS the professors write so they can make money off students, I was happy if I could avoid even buying it -often people would share the summaries and I'd just get the summary-.

To me, that makes total sense: that's how you maximize your learning. Learn more from the best resources, save time on the bad ones.

A colleague of mine instead was adamant to always read the full books, never visit that website where people shared summaries and previous questions, and, hence, to never seek a shortcut.

When she shared that with pride, she'd almost make you feel ashamed for seeking effectiveness.

Today I work in the social science field, and up to the reader to decide how good or successful I am.
But my "straight edge colleague" isn't even in the running because she doesn't even work in the field -not a jab at her BTW, a wonderful woman and I wished she'd be in the same field-.

You could call my approach "shortcut seeking", if you wanted to try to frame it negatively.

But however you wanna call it, the reality is still the same:

In life, the people who seek higher effectiveness are the people who are also more effective at what they do, and if they choose to add value in their life, they're also more effective at adding value.

Those who stubbornly stick to the "high road" are handicapping themselves and everyone else and leave no mark because resources are scarce in life, and you must prioritize and seek effectiveness (or shortcuts).

If exams are well structured, then learning from past exams is a way of learning, period

If exams are well structured, it means that examiners ask real-world-relevant questions that make someone a great doctor.

Thus, if one were to study based on those past questions, it would be a very effective way of learning, which is good for all.

If that is not the case, then the exams are little more than rubber stamping and random Q&As.

Risks of jealous colleagues tarnishing reputation

I don't think that'll happen, but it's where Machiavellianism helps.

In the group I'd have framed it this way:

Yeah, among other questions, they asked me these 3

Or right after some people noticed the questions were the same:

Yeah, we started from those, and then branched out to more topics of course

Which is how oral exams often are in the real world: the initial questions is often only just the spark for the conversation to ensue.

You can still drop those hints in future conversations.

John Freeman and Bel have reacted to this post.
John FreemanBel
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Hi John I think Mr burns from the Simpsons said it best...

"If you can take advantage of a situation in some way, it's your duty as an American to do it. Why should the race always be to the swift, or the Jumble to the quick-witted? Should they be allowed to win merely because of the gifts God gave them? Well I say, "Cheating is the gift man gives himself."

A Bit of humor but truth in it as well, you are obviously a good person to even worry about it in that depth, there could be evil geniuses out there that would ace the test without trying and then go on to do bad.

As long as your intentions are good a little boost here and there that doesn't hurt anyone is needed in life

Lucio Buffalmano, John Freeman and leaderoffun have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoJohn Freemanleaderoffun

Thanks a lot Lucio for your answer! I read it yesterday. I'll answer very soon 🙂

Thanks a lot Mitch for your kind words (and the wicked humour, hahaha)! I'm guessing we are like-minded. Happy to meet you! 🙂

Lucio Buffalmano and Mitch White have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoMitch White

I forgave and reconciled with my mother. She is a full-blown complotist though.

She believes in fake vaccines, chemtrails and things like this. However now that I matured and learned to deal with parents like her at work, I accept her. I ask her questions to ask her how she thinks (weird logic with shortcuts, see below).

Example

She thinks chemtrails are real. "They" are made by the "elite" which are the people at the World economic forum. The purpose? To reduce the population because they think we're too many people. "They" want to dispose of the "useless and poor" who cost money. When I ask her "but it will kill other people, it's not that smart". She answers that: "yes it's not smart: "they" have big plans but poorly executed".

I'm not making this up.

Bel has reacted to this post.
Bel

Hello Lucio,

please excuse me for the delay, no excuse.

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on September 11, 2022, 3:53 pm

Some quick notes as I read:

Seeking info on past exams is normal, expected, and even good (see next point)

This is one of those things that "baked in" in the exam format: whenever available or possible, people will seek out information on previous exams.

If one wanted the exam to measure people as completely unprepared, then the type and format of the exam should change.
If it doesn't, then it's totally fair, normal, and expected that (good) students will seek out information on past exams, including questions, format, examiners' personalities, pass rate, average grades, etc.

Makes sense.

People who prepare on previous questions are probably better prepared on everything else and better professionals than those who do not

If one were to run a study on who makes for better doctors (or any other profession) based on "who took pain to learn what was asked in the past VS those who did not", my guess is that the group who learned from past exams are better professionals in general.

To me, it's just pure logic.

That's because looking at past exams shows that people care and take steps to do the best they can.
At the moment, they're still only caring about themselves, but at least they care about something, and chances are higher that they care in general compared to those who don't even care about themselves.

The other group ubstead is people who don't even  care about their own results.
It's a non-starter.
How can you expect them to care to change and improve their world, their environments, or the life of others?

I did not think about that before.

Real-life example: naive long-road traveler VS effectiveness seeker (me)

Two examples prove little, but they may still tell you something.

All my university life I've sought out all information I could from previous exams and focused my preparation around lists of questions.

When the books were interesting or good, I read them for personal growth and took copious notes and looked for further information -and it seems to me John that's also what you do-.
And when the books were what I deemed to be useless BS the professors write so they can make money off students, I was happy if I could avoid even buying it -often people would share the summaries and I'd just get the summary-.

To me, that makes total sense: that's how you maximize your learning. Learn more from the best resources, save time on the bad ones.

A colleague of mine instead was adamant to always read the full books, never visit that website where people shared summaries and previous questions, and, hence, to never seek a shortcut.

When she shared that with pride, she'd almost make you feel ashamed for seeking effectiveness.

Today I work in the social science field, and up to the reader to decide how good or successful I am.
But my "straight edge colleague" isn't even in the running because she doesn't even work in the field -not a jab at her BTW, a wonderful woman and I wished she'd be in the same field-.

You could call my approach "shortcut seeking", if you wanted to try to frame it negatively.

But however you wanna call it, the reality is still the same:

In life, the people who seek higher effectiveness are the people who are also more effective at what they do, and if they choose to add value in their life, they're also more effective at adding value.

Those who stubbornly stick to the "high road" are handicapping themselves and everyone else and leave no mark because resources are scarce in life, and you must prioritize and seek effectiveness (or shortcuts).

Yes, when I find a topic that I want to master or I find the sources given by the teacher are poor, I look for better ones. Better books. Often you find that the original source was badly twisted and poorly explained. Basically they turned gold into sh#t.

If exams are well structured, then learning from past exams is a way of learning, period

If exams are well structured, it means that examiners ask real-world-relevant questions that make someone a great doctor.

Thus, if one were to study based on those past questions, it would be a very effective way of learning, which is good for all.

If that is not the case, then the exams are little more than rubber stamping and random Q&As.

Totally agree. Sometimes it is this way unfortunately. That's why I loved this exam, because I could show my skills and knowledge.

Risks of jealous colleagues tarnishing reputation

I don't think that'll happen, but it's where Machiavellianism helps.

In the group I'd have framed it this way:

Yeah, among other questions, they asked me these 3

Or right after some people noticed the questions were the same:

Yeah, we started from those, and then branched out to more topics of course

Which is how oral exams often are in the real world: the initial questions is often only just the spark for the conversation to ensue.

You can still drop those hints in future conversations.

Nice machiavellian stuff! And yes, the question that I had that was the same, I had to expand on it. I was not just reciting what my colleague told me. She told me about the question, not the answer, nor the ramifications. Also, as you said I studied this topic so it was my own knowledge that I displayed, not someone else's. So yes, I'm a better professional for having studied it, you're right. 🙂

All in all a very warm "thank you" from me! It's a great post that could be used in PU as an example of positive machiavellianism I think or let's say proper strategising. I wanted to take the time to answer properly 🙂

PS: I wrote another post above in case you guys are interested. Sometimes when I write two posts one after the other, I'm thinking it might be missed.

PreviousPage 14 of 20Next
Processing...