As with other doctors, I am no stranger to taking exams upon exams, some more difficult than the others, at times passing, but sometimes not making it through.

With that, my colleagues, senior colleagues and mentors would know my results, good or not as favourable.

Thing is, whenever I don’t get through the exams, some of them would recieve the news with fallen faces.

It often seemed like their response is worse than my own, when I looked at my own results.

I was never comfortable with it.

I never understood why they should be so upset when I have yet to give up on myself, and when I was not as frustrated as they appeared to be.

Until one day I heard about a dear friend. I have not met him for about a year.

A few weeks ago I saw another colleague who came to my ward to look for cases. So I asked her about him and some other friends who took the same exam at the same time.

“Oh, all of us got through, except for him. He had to resit that exam,” she said.

I felt rather sad.

The news bothered me. The fact that he did not go through the exam resurfaced a few times on that day, in between seeing patients.

I hoped and prayed that he will make it soon.

He was one to encourage me to focus on my exams and get through it quickly.

From that day, I understood how it may have felt like for all those people to hear my news.

I’m not going to ask why anymore.