It was perhaps Fall of 1968. I can say with assurance it was in my first two years of medical school from September of 1967 through
June of 1969. I was about to take an oral exam in microbiology one morning.
I knew I would follow the top student in our class as I followed him alphabetically. I suppose it was the combination of an oral and trying to follow “his act” that led me on a beeline to my shrink’s office.
He suggested given my level of anxiety medicated that I should cancel the test. I agreed and did so.
Later that afternoon I was beginning to feel more at ease. It occurred to me I wouldn’t be following a genius in the oral exam if I took the test that afternoon.
I rescheduled and took another straight line to my therapist’s office. He hypnotized me to the point I may well have been someone else. Perhaps a cousin of the genius I had been scheduled to follow.
I took the test before several examiners and passed. During the exam I was so tight a female professor told me no one would bite me. I actually wasn’t sure.
I am left without permanent bite marks to tell this tale.
H. Robert Rubin, M.D., memoirist and author of Look Backward Angel and How Did I Get Through This?, available on Amazon.