January 2014 ABC Advisor

ABOG 2013 ORAL Exam Candidates - JANUARY Exam Candidates

The holidays are finally over. You’ve known you were the last group since July, and you thought January would never get here. Well it’s here! You can sure identify with your patients who go into labor. Be careful what you wish for, right?

The #1 regret of exam takers is that they wished they had done more mock orals. You have all kinds of resources to tap into, local and regional colleagues, as well as academicians, subspecialists, and generalists. An eye-to-eye encounter is the best, but don’t forget you can do them over the telephone too. The ABC faculty are just a dial away for a telephone mock oral exam to get the professional touch.  After each mock oral, figure out your new game plan and try it out with the next one.

A great way to pull it all together, or salvage what’s left if you procrastinated, is to take advantage of our Do or Die in Dallas service. When we say, “we’re with you every step”, we mean that literally, for Drs. Renni Polite and Krishna Das will be right there in Dallas the week of your exam. We will do whatever it takes to get YOU feeling confident just before your test. It’s too late and not helpful to hide within a group or camp just days before your test. Whereas examining is a team effort, unfortunately being examined is solo.  We can give mock oral exams, test you with our signature Case of the Days, defuse those landmines on your case list, or even give you a crash lecture on a weak topic. You need to eat, drink, and sleep OB/GYN and set the stage for your big day.

 Test Taking Technique  
About half of the Structured Cases’ stem question is followed by three questions:
  •      What is your differential diagnosis?
  •      How would you work up the patient?
  •      How would you manage her?
At the end of each case is “Supplemental Questions by Examiner”.
You will start with the Structured Cases and there is no longer a chime signaling the half way mark to transition to the case list.
            If you have time, don’t forget to check out “Pearls of Exxcellence”.  This is the only public stance that we’re aware of that ABOG acknowledges the right answer on the most challenging oral exam topics and provides a capsule review. Go to abog.org > Foundation of Exxcellence > Pearls of Exxcellence > Challenging Exam Topics.
Just remember 70%. That’s all you need to pass the exam.  You do not need, nor will you likely get 100% of the questions correct.
The questions will come at you in rapid fire. Often times the examiner will push you until you finally don’t know the answer. Don’t misinterpret this as failing the question. On the contrary, you probably passed it long before, but the examiner may simply want to explore the depth of your knowledge or at least reassure himself that you will acknowledge your limitations.
Let the last question go and focus on the question at hand. Do not let the worry about whether or not you got the last question correct distract you and thereby compromise you getting a sure pass question correct.
Remember, just 70%  You can do it, we can help.


ABOG 2014 ORAL Exam Candidates

Happy New Year! The Chinese calendar says 2014 is the year of the exam. Make a resolution to not procrastinate in preparing for your exam. You can finally apply for the 2014 oral exam starting February 1 at www.abog.org. Your application and the application fee of $840 is due March 15. If you delay, you will incur stiff late fees.

By now, you should have a system for organizing your data for the case list. For all GYN patients, collect the H&Ps, operative note, pathology report, and discharge summary. For all OB patients, keep a file of the prenatal form, delivery note, discharge summary, and postpartum note.

Since you’re now halfway into collecting your cases, it’s time to start adding to your office case list. Keep a list of all 40 categories on your desk. Collect no more than 6 names for each category. The bread & butter categories will fill up quickly. Start keeping an eye out for those categories that you want to talk about. It is unlikely, and not necessary, to fill all 40 categories. Remember you can only apply two patients per category.

Also don’t forget you have to provide the overall number of ultrasounds that you personally performed in the office, as well as on hospitalized patients. Just keep a ticker file for OB, GYN, and Office.

Take a stab at entering the data on the case list forms; just use your common sense. Rest assured, we have case list construction workshops scheduled for as early as May. For those who are OCD, order your copy of Pass Your Oral Ob/Gyn Board Exam by Dr. Das for a complete step-by-step guide. You’ve been collecting cases since the summer. It’s cold outside and nothing better to do, so start today in creating a good habit of collecting and entering cases, at a minimum on a weekly basis.

If the weather outside is frightful, then our Oral Exam Webinar is delightful. It starts February and will cover ten core topics in just three months. Drs Diane Evans and Chetanna Okasi will spend one to two hours weekly on each topic and show you exactly how to prepare for an oral exam. It will catapult your studying and leave no stones unturned for preparing for additional topics.

Case list Construction Tip
One of the most common mistakes is “column confusion” on the Office and Obstetrics case list. On the Obstetrics case list, the columns most confused are “Complications of Antepartum, Complications of Delivery or Postpartum, and Operative Procedures and/or Treatment”. Complications up to and including labor should go in the Antepartum column. Anything that happens in labor and postpartum should then go in the Complications of Delivery or Postpartum This includes disorders of protracted labor, instrumented deliveries, shoulder dystocia, retained placenta etc should go in the Delivery or Postpartum column.
On the Office Practice case list, the columns most confused are the “Diagnostic Procedures, Treatment, and Results” columns. The Results column is intended to be the result of your treatment, NOT the results of your procedures. Put the results of your procedures in parenthesis after the procedure IN the Diagnostic Procedure column.
For example
PROBLEM                             PROCEDURES         TREATMENT            RESULTS
ASCUS Pap, +HPV                Colposcopy                 LEEP                 CIS with clear
                                                (ECC –benign                                             margins
                                                Ectocx – CIN 3)
Chief Residents Planning A Subspecialty Fellowship

Subspecialty fellows are permitted to select 20 patients from their Chief resident year for their off specialty case list. In other words, GYN Oncologists, REI and Urogynecologists will need an OB list and  MFMs need a GYN list. Thus make sure to hold onto that residency log!

 Refer to the ABOG Bulletin on how those 20 patients are selected. To be on the safe side, we recommend you collect at least 30, so you can strategically select the final 20 later. For those patients, keep a file of the following: for the GYN patients, collect the H&Ps, operative note, pathology report, and discharge summary. For the OB patients, keep a file of the prenatal form, delivery note, discharge summary, and postpartum note. Don’t worry about the office patients at all, as you may compile this only during your fellowship

A word of caution – right now you are at your peak for general OB/GYN knowledge. Believe it or not, two years from now, your knowledge base will regress to that of an intern. Yes it’s true, if you don’t use it, you lose it. So those really cool, esoteric, bizarre, once-in-a career cases now will be a nightmare to defend later. Your greatest allies are your junior residents. If they can’t easily defend that case, then cease and subsist and “go fish” for another


Subspecialty Fellows Planning for their 2013 ABOG General Oral Board Exam

You cannot sit for your general oral boards until at least your second year of your fellowship. Furthermore, you can only take the general oral boards once during your fellowship.

 If you neglected to collect cases in your off specialty from your chief year, begin to piece meal how to gather those cases from your residency institution. GYN Oncologists, REI and Urogynecologists will need an OB list and  MFMs need a GYN list. If you currently have to take call for these off services, you can use those cases.

If you are retrospectively collecting cases, go with your comfort zone. Dang, how could you have forgotten so much in such a short time? Unfortunately it’s true, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Go with the bread-and-butter cases. Remember this is your general boards. We recommend you chose those cases that reflect high-yield topics. Our Test Topics Manual  and Pass Your Oral Ob/Gyn Board Exam by Dr. Das  will be an excellent step-by-step guide. 


AOBOG & ABOG 2014 WRITTEN Exam Candidates

The ABOG June 30, 2014 exam is now closed. Have you reserved your Pearson-Vue testing center yet? The AOBOG May 3, 2014 exam applications are due January 31. The exam is in five and six months, so it’s “over the hump” time. Your free time to study will be usurped by end of year stuff as you finish your residency. So you must take advantage of JANUARY and FEBRUARY to “kick butt” and crank out a bunch of topics on your study plan.

You must be candid as to what you can/cannot accomplish on your study plan. If you haven’t already finished, then prioritize those MUST KNOW topics. Our Test Topics Manual  is a great resource to show you the way; as it will cover 90% of the exam topics.  Limit yourself to a clinical review and don’t forget to budget time for written questions on each topic.

We strongly advise taking a review course. Obviously we’re a bit biased, as we feel we have the ideal course; however, you should look for the following features. There is precious little time to wade through the volumes of material to figure out what to prioritize. We’ve got your 6 with an exam focused review; our next course is May 5-9, 2014. You also want a faculty with extensive speaking experience. The fact that they research and publish is irrelevant, as the answer guide to the test and henceforth their lectures should be based on ACOG  clinical guidelines. The faculty especially needs to be knowledgeable in the written board exam. Every lecture will conclude with written questions.

For those who have traditionally struggled with written exams or if you have failed the written board exam, you cannot continue with modus operandi. It didn’t work before, so why set yourself up for the same outcome? We have found that knowledge is rarely the problem. You couldn’t have made it this far is that was the case. It’s typically a processing problem. The Jolley’s  have a brilliantly simply and effective PROCESS with proven success, with their Test Taking Skills Workshop one evening at  our May course.


Test Taking Technique
ABOG set a precedent in 2010 exam by not relinquishing the score, so candidates received just got a pass or fail grade. This is unfortunate, as one didn’t know if they missed passing by one or twenty points. Obviously this would greatly influence one’s strategy for the next go around.
Thus the only parameter to gauge or predict Board exam performance is the CREOG in-service-training exam. Until now, there has been no incentive to track their correlation, especially since the questions aren’t the most representative in format like those on your board exam.
However you MUST now take them seriously, especially if you are a chief resident.  They are at the end of this month. Unfortunately you don’t get your results until March, but they may be the perfect reality check to motivate you to get crackin’. Check your past scores. The magic # is > 200.
You can do it, we can help.


AOBOG 2014 ORAL Exam Candidates

The May 2 &3, 2014 exam application is due January 3. Brace yourself for the $3250 examination fee that is due Feb 1.

We’ve got a great way to start out the New Years. Dr. Diane Evans, DO and Dr. Chetana Okasi start our Oral Exam Webinar  on February 8. We guarantee to getthrough all ten core topics, and the other fifty tucked within, by the end of April. For every month of registration, you will receive a FREE ½ hour telephone mock oral exam!

Since its debuted in 2011, we’ve been batting a 100% pass rate for webinar attendees.

Test Taking Technique
Remember this is an oral exam, so you must practice articulating out loud. Our Structured Cases CDs eerily simulate the exam topics and setting. They not only give you the format, but more importantly, the answers, so you can learn the expected depth and breadth of your answers. They are so easy to conduct and your mock oral examiner doesn’t even need medical knowledge. We advise against using your mother as an examiner, because once she learns the format, she’ll be torturing you all the time with her offers to “help”.


ABOG Maintenance of Certification (MOC)

Part II Lifelong Learning       

Time to pay to play. Your renewal fee of $295 for Part II or Annual Board Certification is due with your application.  You must apply every year and access to the MOC assignments will not be allowed until your application and fee are received. The list of journal articles for the first quarter should be out mid-January. Make a New Year’s resolution to finish the first quarter just before you file your taxes in April.

Welcome and congratulations to those who just passed their November and December primary oral exam. Thought you could finally rest? Well think again!! New diplomats must enter and start the MOC process by January 2014.

Part III Secure Written Exam

For those of you in MOC Year 6, you must pass a written exam by Dec 15, 2013. We are batting 100% pass for those who attended our review course and one-day workshop. We’re so confident that you too will pass, that we’ll refund your course registration fee if you don’t. Our next course is May 5-9 and the workshop is the day before on May 4 in Baltimore. Since you are an adult learner, we strongly recommend you take your exam the DAY AFTER or the latest, one week after the course!

For those of you in MOC Year 6, you must pass a written exam by Dec 15, 2013. We are batting 100% pass for those who attended our review course and one-day workshop. We’re so confident that you too will pass, that we’ll refund your course registration fee if you don’t. Our next course is May 5-9 and the workshop is the day before on May 4 in Baltimore. Since you are an adult learner, we strongly recommend you take your exam the DAY AFTER or the latest, one week after the course!

Test Taking Tip
RELAX, the test is only 100 questions and you answer two books of fifty questions
Generalists get to chose their books or “selectives” for each exam. Subspecialists must take the first book based upon their designated subspecialty. They then have to choose a second book from the generalist’s selectives.
Generalist Selective Exam A & B (50 questions)
  1. Obstetrics and Gynecology and Office Practice & Women’s Health
  2. Obstetrics only
  3. Gynecology only
  4. Office Practice and Women’s Health only

Subspecialists:Selective Exam A (50 questions)

  1. Gynecologic Oncology
  2. Maternal Fetal Medicine
  3. Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility
  4. Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery (starting 2019)

The strategy is in choosing your selectives. The Board gives an itemization of the exam topics. Believe or not, but it is the same list for the primary written exam and the oral exam case list categories, although the focus fortunately is much more clinical. It is well worth going to the Basic Bulletin at abog.org to look through the specific list.The focus for each of the General selectives is the following

  • Obstetrics – Antepartum, Intrapartum, Postpartum
  • Gynecology only- Inpatient & Outpatient GYN focus, including REI, Urogyn and Oncology
  • Office Practice and Women’s Health only - primary care, office GYN, office surgery & family planning focus
  • Each Selective can include “Cross Content Areas” such as
  • Safey
  • Anatomy & Physiology, Basic Sciences
  • Genetics
  • Ethics & Professionalism
AOBOG Recertification Written Exam, Osteopathic Continuous Certification in Obstetrics & Gynecology (OCC)

If you want to take the May 2014 exam, you can register still by February 1, but you need to also send your $1200 application and exam fee. This exam is usually a piece of cake, that is if you are a generalist. If you’re planning to take the October, 2014 exam and are a real gunner, you could take our May 5-9 or September 20-24 course. Although probably overkill, it’s fun and refreshing to attend our review course. This is all you need.

Test Taking Technique
On the AOBOG website, aobog.org, they even give you a list of test topics! They include, but are not limited to the following:
  • Medical conditions complicating pregnancy
  • Hypertensive disorders in pregnancy
  • Diabetes mellitus in pregnancy: screening and management
  • Maternal antenatal screening for aneuploidy
  • HIV in pregnancy
  • Infectious disease in pregnancy: maternal and fetal effects/complications
  • Labor management
  • Preterm labor: diagnosis and management including appropriate usage of fetal fibronectin, cervical lengths, and antenatal steroids
  • HPV: infection, manifestations, vaccine
  • Abnormal cervical cytology and histology: diagnosis & management
  • Gynecologic procedures: indications, complications
  • Menopause management
  • Low bone mass/osteoporosis: screening, prevention, management
  • BRCA 1&2: counseling and implications
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Ectopic pregnancy: diagnosis and management
  • Sexually transmitted infections




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