Friday, August 12, 2011

Board, Board, Board!

It has nearly been a week already since taking the Ontario Board certification exams.  I should be used to people being intensely analytical and critical about my performance after years of practical sessions and exams, but somehow the Board examiners seemed to have a skill for making my mind go blank.  The experience was very, very humbling; in fact, it was somewhat traumatic!  The good news is that I'm told many of us will feel this way but ultimately do very well.  It is part of the affliction of being a perfectionist!

In Ontario, graduates' skills in physical and clinical diagnosis, instrumentation, Chinese Medicine and acupuncture, and spinal manipulations are all tested in practical exam sessions.  There is certainly a lot on the line as a failing grade requires a retake exam next February and an inability to start a practice in the mean time.  It is a lot of pressure to say the least.  And what is worse is that we do not know our results until October!

In the meantime, I wish everyone of my colleagues all the best with their exam results and with beginning their next chapter in the naturopathic journey, wherever it takes them.

Friday, August 5, 2011


If I were to make a list of all the things I would loved to have known well while writing the 400 questions on the NPLEX exams, it would be a pretty long list!  I feel like each exam question was written by a specialist from a particular field of study and we were required to take our best stab at it with a generalist's training.  Well, I guess who better to write the perfect question anyways than a specialist!

Probably one of the unforeseen challenges for me was on the second day after writing the elective TCM and acupuncture exam.  During the first 20 or so questions of the afternoon core clinical exam, what happened was when I would see a case where a patient comes in with poor memory, palpitations...etc., etc., I would think, "that's got to be a heart blood deficiency," or whatever TCM diagnosis corresponded to the symptoms.  Then, I'd remember that this part of the exam needed a Western diagnosis. 

Well, it sure was a mental marathon and, I'd have to say that it was harder than I thought it would be.  But, that is the past and it's on to Board exams this weekend.  After this weekend, then we can finally celebrate!