April 2014 ABC Advisor


Miki Takase-Sanchez, MD, FACOG

This month we are featuring Dr.Takase-Sanchez went to medical school at the University of Texas Health Science Center and was Phi Beta Kappa. She completed her residency at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (VMC). As a resident, Dr. Takase-Sanchez received the highest scores in her program on her CREOG in-service training exam. She was also awarded Best Resident Teacher all four years of her residency. She was Clinical Instructor of Stanford University Medical Students and Faculty/Teaching Attending at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (VMC) and received teaching awards every year. Dr. Takase-Sanchez is currently in the Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship Program at Indiana University. She'll be offering a Case List Workshop on May 4th in Indianapolis, IN.  Click here to learn more about ABC's signature Case List Workshops

ABOG Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Candidates

            You’re working on your taxes right? That means the first quarter is over. Are you finished with your first quarter articles? Didn’t you make a New Year’s resolution that you weren’t going to procrastinate this year? Promise yourself to get those finished before the second quarter list comes out.

For those of you in MOC Year 6, you must pass a written exam by Dec 15, 2014. If you’ve never cut corners before, then our five day review courses, May 5-9, September 20-24, and November 16-20 are perfect. This is not the same type of review course from the past. Just as you’ve evolved and practice evidence-based medicine, our course is designed for the adult learner, exam-focused, and all lectures follow the national ACOG guidelines. Heck, you’ll walk away with loads of every day practice tips too.

ABOG has acknowledged that an emphasis will be placed on both the Compendium and the MOC articles. So don’t you think the highest yield will be those MOC articles that overlap with the Compendium? Lucky for you we have a one day MOC Written Exam Workshop May 4, June 7, September 19, and November 15 that provides that perfect review of those overlapping MOC articles AND written questions.

We feel the ultimate prep is to attend the MOC Workshop the day before the course to review those high yield MOC articles that overlap with the Compendium. Then stay for the comprehensive, yet exam-focused review course. Then take your exam the very next day. Evidently we’re on to something, because 100%  who have done exactly that have passed!

If you just can’t come to the workshop or the review course or you’re a do-it-yourselfer, then our Annual MOC Manuals, summarize each of the last five years of MOC articles AND have written questions. Think of them as Cliff notes, as they will save you oodles of time.

Finally, if you’re feeling a bit rusty or you had to repeat your primary written exam, our education specialists, Martin and Jane Jolley specialize in standardized written exams and have created a program just for those taking their written board exam. Sign up for their test taking workshop at our May course.

Oh, just in case you think you’re coasting after you pass your written exam, think again. You still have to read the 2014 articles. No rest for the weary!


Test Taking Tip
The written exam 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)
 Subspecialists: Selective Exam A (50 questions)

            We’re getting lots of questions on how to choose your selectives. Here are our recommendations, based upon your mode of practice





Generalist – OB&GYN

Option 1, 2, 3, or 4

Option 1, 2, 3, or 4

Generalist – GYN Only

Option 3

Option 3 or 4

Generalist – Family Planning

Option 4

Option 4

Generalist – Laborist

Option 2

Option 2






Option 2

GYN Oncologist

Gynecologic Oncology

Option 3



Option 3 or 4

Urogyn (not taking FPMRS Boards in 2013)

Option 3

Option 3

Still not certain what’s the best strategy? Contact us for a free one-on-one consult with Dr. Das, so you can chose the strategy that’s right for you. This will give you the peace of mind to prepare for and take your exam with confidence.


ABOG & AOBOG 2014 WRITTEN Exam Candidates

The AOBOG exam is NEXT month and the ABOG exam is in TWO  months – YIKES! For those of you finishing your residency, the end of year stuff, projects, and deadlines will really kick in next month. So this is probably your last month for hard core studying. Don’t let it slip away.

We strongly advise taking a BOARD review course. A weekend workshop or evening webinar can’t provide the content. No matter how many questions you go through, you simply can’t answer them well if you lack the foundation. It’s like trying to build a brick wall with only the bricks and not the mortar.

We recognize that there is precious little time to wade through the volumes of material. That’s why our May 5-9 review course provides an exam focused review in accordance with the latest ACOG clinical guidelines. We will review 82 subjects in 42 hours over five days, which historically covers 90% of exam topics! Our faculty are especially knowledgeable in written board exam trends and conclude each lecture with written questions.

You must be candid as to what you can/cannot accomplish on your study plan. Have you finished the MUST KNOW topics? Our Test Topics Manual is a great resource, as it lists high yield topics and the expected test questions. We suggest you shift to those topics that we don’t have time to cover at the course. These include statistics, ethics, genetics, safety, practice and liability management.

Don’t forget YOU MUST PRACTICE WITH WRITTEN questions at the end of EACH study topic. Our Written Exam Webinar, is designed to perfectly complement the May course. We will blast you with written exam questions based on those high yield subjects with the answer discussion led by our esteem faculty mentors. For you do-it –yourselfers, then our Written Question Manuals provide an additional 700+ questions and our Written Question Navigator beelines right to the subject-specific question. Since the test is computerized, ideally practice with tests of this same format. ABC, in collaboration with Jolley Test Prep Services offers computerized diagnostic tests.

For those who have traditionally struggled with written exams, failed the written board exam, or did not score at least 200 on your CREOG in-service 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 if that was the case. It’s typically a processing problem. The Jolley’s have a brilliantly simply and effective PROCESS with proven success. Their test taking workshop is offered at our May course.

Test Taking Technique
            Make sure you carefully note the qualifiers in the stem question, such as EXCEPT, LEAST/MOST likely, BEST etc. The ABOG written board is classic for their NEGATIVELY worded questions. These are especially challenging. For example, if I say, “DON’T think of the clear turquoise water of the Carribean.” What do you think of? Yeah, the clear, cool, sparkling, blue waters of the Carribean, plus warm breezes, bikinis, etc. Here’s a strategy on how to not succumb to their trap. Change a negative stem to a positive one BEFORE you begin to find the best answer
  1. Circle the negative word in the stem
  2. Omit the negative word and read the stem as a positive statement
  3. Mark each alternative with T, F, or ? (so all but one will be true)
  4. Select the false answer
Which of the following is not a component of the levator ani?
  1. Coccygeus
  2. Ileococcygeus
  3. Puborectalis
  4. Pubococcygeus
Step 1: Which of the following is NOT a component of the levator ani?
  1. Coccygeus
  2. Ileococcygeus
  3. Puborectalis
  4. Pubococcygeus
Step 2: Which of the following ARE components of the levator ani?
  1. Coccygeus
  2. Ileococcygeus
  3. Puborectalis
  4. Pubococcygeus
Step 3: Which of the following ARE  components of the levator ani?
  1. Coccygeus  - false
  2. Ileococcygeus  - true
  3. Puborectalis - true
  4. Pubococcygeus  - true
Step 4: Which of the following is not a component of the levator ani?
  2. Ileococcygeus
  3. Puborectalis
  4. Pubococcygeus
Now for some more questions from our Written Questions Manual
OB, Preconception Counseling #1
A 23 year old patient presents to your office for preconception counseling.  She mentions that she is a vegetarian. Which vitamin is most commonly deficient in vegetarian diets?
  1. Folate
  2. Vitamin B12
  3. Vitamin C
  4. Vitamin A
Office, Family Planning #2
Which birth control method has the highest failure rate?
  1. Sterilization
  2. Copper IUD
  3. Vasectomy
  4. OCPs
  5. Levonorgestrel IUD
Office, Medical Diseases #5
A 50 year old African-American female presents for an annual exam with a blood pressure of 145/90.  The patient returns the next week with a blood pressure of 151/88.  What is the best management choice?
  1. Recommend increasing exercise and recheck blood pressure in 3 months.
  2. Recommend checking blood pressures at home.
  3. Initiate antihypertensive therapy with losartan.
  4. Initiate antihypertensive therapy with lisinopril.
  5. Initiate antihypertensive therapy with hydrochlorothiazide.
    Answers to LAST month’s written questions:
    FPM fecal incontinence question. Answer: D, The anorectal angle is less acute
    GYN, abnormal uterine bleeding question. Answer: D, IV estrogen
    REI, embryology. Answer D, Increased serum testosterone

    ABOG 2014 ORAL Exam Candidates

    The application, copy of your current medical license, and application fee of $840 was due on March 15, 2014. If you overlooked this menial, but necessary administrative task, you can still turn it in, but of course now with a late fee of $345.  If you wait beyond April 15, 2014 then there is an even steeper late fee of $825. No applications are accepted after April 30, 2014. You can go online to www.abog.org to download a copy or complete it on line. Surely you already have your case list software, but if you do not, then stop everything and order it now from the ABOG website.  

    Only TWO MONTHS left to complete your collection of cases. At this point, you must be up-to-date with all of your past entries. The clock is ticking. You must enter cases no later than EVERY WEEK now.

    Ideally, right after you dictate your operative or delivery notes, then complete the hard copy of the case list form. Once a week, enter this data into your case list software.At this point you should have half of your office patients selected. Plan to complete all 40 categories by the end of May. Remember you can apply only one or two patients per category.

    You should now have three binders for each of the three sections, OB, GYN, and Office. For each GYN patient, compile their case list sheet, H&P, 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. For the office patients, file the case list sheet, appropriate copies of the office visit(s) and supporting labs, imaging studies, etc.

    If you have been using the ABOG case list software, chances are you are now appreciating why your predecessors grumble they would have never used it. Don’t fret – it was helpful to at least get you familiar with the process. However, if you want to take full control over the optimal construction, we recommend you customize your own software.

    Rest assured, this is really pretty easy. Come to one of our Case List Construction workshops.  Our flagship workshop is May 4 in Baltimore just before the course. We have two in April, one in Greenville, SC and the other in Orange County, CA The rest are in May in, Atlanta, New York City, Indianapolis, Memphis, New Orleans and Fargo, ND. We’ll show you how to raise your case list head and shoulders above the other candidates.

    For those who are OCD, order your copy of the Pass Your  Oral Ob/Gyn Board Exam, 4th edition by Dr. Das for a complete step-by-step guide.

    The ideal time to take your review course is in the spring. You will be all consumed with constructing your case list from June to August. You won’t find out until July the month of your exam. So you have to assume it could be as early as November. If that’s the case, then you only have two months to study. YIKES! Obviously we’re a bit biased, but we recommend our May 5-9 BOARD review course for an exam focused review. There is precious little time to wade through the volumes of material to figure out what to prioritize. Our faculty have extensive speaking experience and their lectures are based on ACOG clinical guidelines, duh the answer guide for the test. They are especially knowledgeable on the oral exam and every lecture concludes with our signature oral exam defense tips. Ideally complement the content covered at the review course with a workshop devoted to strategic construction of your case list.


    Case list Construction Tip
                For your OB and GYN case lists, try and use as many of the applied categories as possible.  This will show more depth and breadth to your mode of practice. Carefully look at each case to ponder which category to use. For example, did you know there are 18 possible categories to list a hysterectomy?


    AOBOG 2014 ORAL Exam Candidates

    Applications for the October 10 or 11, 2014 exam, along with the $750 application fee is due April Fool’s Day.

    For those preparing for their exam at the beginning of next month, time is short.

    Our Osteopathic Oral Exam Webinar is the only webinar in the country that is designed by an osteopathic physician. Dr. Diane Evans DO, FACOOG goes through EACH of the ten core topics AND invites each participant to interact. Since it’s debut in 2011 100% of webinar participants have passed their exam! It started in February, but don’t worry, you can still jump in and even access those earlier topics in our archives. Each monthly session is strategically grouped into OB, then GYN, then Oncology/Urogynecology. 

    Anyway you look at it, you MUST do some mock oral exams. Call today for a telephone mock oral exam with one of our seasoned ABC Faculty. You can also challenge yourself with our Structured Cases CDs based just on the core topics.

    For those of you preparing for the fall exam, you’ve probably figured out by now, that the “ten” core topics is actually about fifty topics. We recommend our May 5-9 or September 20-24 BOARD review course, for an exam focused review. Did you know our syllabus is highlighted with EACH CORE TOPIC? We also spend an evening dissecting EACH core topic and trying to predict every possible question.

    Wonder what that surprise topic is going to be? There is precious little time to wade through volumes of material to figure out what to prioritize. We’ll get right to the point. Each lecture is in accordance with the latest ACOG clinical guidelines, which is after all the answer guide for your test

    Test Taking Technique  
    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%!


    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.


    Test Taking Technique
                Your case list is a legal cheat sheet. You may freely refer to it during the exam. So use this to your advantage on topics you typically have trouble recalling. For example “congenital abnormalities of the reproductive tract”is a great GYN category to help you remember those mullerian abnormalities for primary amenorrhea.

    Subspecialty Fellows Planning for their 2014 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, you must get back to your residency institution to gather those cases AND enter them into your software. 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 the #1 guide, Pass Your Oral Ob/Gyn Board Exam by Dr. Das will be an excellent step-by-step guide. 


    Test Taking Technique
                Your case list is a legal cheat sheet. You may freely refer to it during the exam. So use this to your advantage on topics you typically have trouble recalling. For example “congenital abnormalities of the reproductive tract” is a great GYN category to help you remember those mullerian abnormalities for primary amenorrhea.


    AOBOG Osteopathic Continuous Certification (OCC) Written Exam

    This exam is usually a walk in the park for generalists practicing both obstetrics & gynecology. The breakdown of the OCC exam is as follows:  

    General Obstetrics                              25%
           Maternal Fetal Medicine                      10%
           Gynecology (office and surgery)           40%
           Reproductive Endocrinology                 10%
           Gynecologic Oncology                        10%
           Miscellaneous                                      5%

    If you’re taking your exam at the Spring ACOOG meeting, our Written Question Manuals provide great practice for 700+ questions and our answers and narrative explanation will provide additional learning. If you already have your Prologs, then our Written Question Navigator beelines you right to the subject-specific question

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