Back in November (see my previous posts), we wrote the Advanced Perioperative Transesophageal Echocardiography Exam. It is a North American Exam that Cardiologists, Ultrasonographers, and some Anesthesiologists write. It is a requirement to become certified in Perioperative TEE in the US. And, it is a requirement for our department to be able to continue to do Cardiac Anesthesia.
Well, I failed the exam.
Admittedly, I am NOT a Cardiologist, nor Ultrasonographer. I am not even an anesthesiologist who has done a cardiac fellowship. So, what the heck was I doing writing this exam? Well, as I said, it is a requirement by our department. No other department requires this, and it is useless anywhere else, but most departments require a fellowship to do Cardiac. As well, prior to this it was a different exam. There used to be just a Perioperative TEE exam. Now, there is a basic and advanced, and for some reason in their infinite wisdom, our department decided we needed the Advanced exam.
I have been preparing myself for this result. I studied and studied, but when I got to the exam, it all but blew me away. I was pretty sure at that point I had failed the exam. My hubby and a couple of others wrote it with me, and we all felt the same way - like we had just been sucker-punched in the belly.
Am I bothered by the outcome? Well, seeing as my hubby passed (which is no surprise, as he is brilliant), and I did not, a little bothered. I can write it again, but I am not sure I want to. I would miss some of the people who work in that room. I would miss the expertise of putting in all the lines. But, honestly, I would not miss the stress. The biggest stress comes not from the anesthetic (I can give a cardiac anesthetic, and get the patient off the table), but it is the TEE. I really have never felt that I had the skills, and was just playing at TEE.
So, what do I do. I made some home-made lentil soup, and congratulated my hubby. He did great. He really wanted this, and I am happy for him.
Do I continue on with cardiac and try again? I am not really sure. I don't know if I care that much to put all that effort in again (such a nice feeling that nothing was truly riding on this). I think I have enough different things on my plate (especially now with being the new Undergraduate Teaching Coordinator for Anesthesia).
For now, I will eat my steamy hearty bowl of lentil soup, and ponder. So warm, so comforting, and right now just what I need.