I probably shouldn't be writing this.
Tomorrow, after all, I sit for my Maintenance of Certification examination in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology. It's my second time re-certifying after passing my original EP boards in 1994. And as I've been learning, things have changed. But I should do fine, right? There's no need to worry, right? I've been doing this my whole working life after all.
But I do worry. That is my nature. I have spent countless hours worrying about this test. II took the sanctioned Heart Rhythm Society Board Review Course to prepare for this test. Why? Because I know from prior experience that there are tricks to these tests: certain topics that always get tested. The directors of these courses, sworn to secrecy mind you, give you clues what will be on these tests by the material they cover in their lectures. So I paid. Yeah, it's a racquet and I'm probably a fool, but knowing how to spend your precious time studying after a full's day work is helpful. After all, it would be embarrassing and even more costly for me if I do not pass.
So, for whatever reason, I just don't want to forget how I feel right now. Perhaps it's to let my patients know why their clinic date with me has been bumped. Perhaps it's to let others know what one doctor really feels just before doing this so late in one's career.
But honestly, I suppose I really want to write this post for me. I don't want to lose the memory of what it was like to watch the video about the unfamiliar corporate testing center where I must go, about the infra-red palm reader that I will have to use to prove the person there is really me. I don't want to forget the guy (or gal) that will be sitting behind the glass wall watching me as I sit staring at a wall and a computer screen in a tiny cubicle clicking at a keyboard for eight hours. I don't want to forget that even my watch and wallet won't be allowed in the room; that I will be unreachable in this tomb. I don't want to forget the foreboding sense of a robotic depersonalization; about my anxiety at the thought of constantly worrying about a tiny digital clock in the right upper corner of the screen constantly ticking, ticking, ticking - as if medical decisions are ever timed like this. Like Nineteen Eighty-Four.
And I especially don't want to forget how incredibly small I feel as doctor now...
... the day before.