July 2014 ABC Advisor

Peg Miller, MD

As you would expect of the ABC faculty, Dr. Miller is widely published and speaks nationally. However, she's not your run of the mill board certified internist. She's an internist that runs the Obstetric Medicine Clinic at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island. 

"I learned more primary care from Dr. Miller in one day than in all four years of residency”

ABOG  2014 ORAL Exam Candidates
The case list and your examination fee of $975 are both due 8/1/14. Check your home page as ABOG typically assigns your exam month in July. I know that you haven’t even turned in your case list yet. But remember, he who giveth can taketh away, so just because they assign you your exam month, doesn’t obligate them to approve your case list.

Your ONLY priority is to finish your case list. Raise your right hand and repeat after me, “I promise I will not study at all, until I FINISH my case list”.  Ideally, try to revise the list at least twice, as the first draft is never satisfactory. Dr. Das’ book, Pass Your Oral OB/GYN Board Exam is a great step-by-step guide.

The construction of your case list is like the practice of medicine; there is more than one way to do the same thing. Stand back and examine your list as if you were the examiner and not the candidate. What kind of questions would you ask?

Do you want that line of questioning? If not, then strategically revise the wording until it begs the questions you want. We realize you haven’t seen many case lists. In fact, often times yours is the only one. Make sure you let others review it before you turn it in. We are happy to offer a Comprehensive Case List Review. ABC is the only company in the nation where you receive a call from your reviewer to point out the highlights and give you an opportunity to ask questions.

Remember your above scout’s pledge to not study? Well, you will need to explode out of the gate once you get that 800# gorilla list off your back. So, begin teeing up your review course options now.

If your exam is in November, you definitely need our review course in September. We’re the first out of the gate and our course is September 20-24, 2014. However, if your exam is not until December or January, come to our November 16-20, 2014 course.

Ideally, complement the content covered at the review course with a workshop devoted to the strategy in taking an oral exam. We offer an Oral Exam Workshop, as well as a Structured Cases Workshop. Our faculty will help you polish your articulation with mock oral exams, as well as our signature Structured Cases CDs.

Case list Construction Tip
The 80:20 rule applies to your case list, too. The examiner has only 30 minutes to examine you on your case list. He typically can get through only 10-15 cases. Thus, for 80% of your case list, you want it to be crystal clear as to why you did what you did. The remaining 20% are strategically worded to beg the line of questioning that you desire.  
The most common mistake on constructing your OFFICE case list is column confusion. The Results column is intended to be for the results of your treatment, NOT for the results of your diagnostic procedures. Put the results of your procedures in parenthesis in the Diagnostic Procedures column.
Problem                        Diagnostic Procedures         Treatment                      Results
Painful vulvar lesions   H&P (ulcerations on vulva)    STD counseling      Resolution of
                                      Culture (Herpes)                   Acylovir                     Symptoms

Subspecialty Fellows Planning for their 2015 ABOG General Oral Board Exam
Your cases for your specialty must come from your fellowship. Your office case list also can only be collected from your fellowship. You can use your chief resident cases for your off-specialty list, either the GYN or the OB.   Refer also to the above tips since you are taking your general oral board exam.

  1. Pass Your Oral OB/GYN Board Exam is a great step-by-step guide. Additionally, there is an appendix just for fellows.

I know you can’t see past August 1st, but you need to register for your review course. The subspecialists LOVE our course, because it’s a no-nonsense, stream-lined, exam-focused review. We have one right out of the gate from September 20-24 and then another course from November 16-20.

Case list Construction Tip:
Don’t feel like you need to have exactly 20 patients on your off specialty list. You are required to have a minimum of 20. However, it is much to your advantage to have more. The more topics in your off specialty, the better prepared you will be. Plus, this gives you, rather than the examiner, more control. If you have sparse topics, then the examiner has free rein to go in any old direction he pleases. Just say WHOA! Rein him in and unhand him by having a nice depth and breadth of topics.   

AOBOG 2014 ORAL Exam Candidates:
The examination fee of $3250 for the October 10th and 11th exam is due by July 7th or with a late fee by July 14th. Applications for the April, 2015 exam are still available.  Although there are only ten core topics, you will quickly appreciate that in order to adequately cover these, you really need to cover about 50 topics. Plus, some core topics, such as “gynecologic neoplasia” are a bit vague to say the least. Our September  16-20 or November 16-20, 2014 Review Course is ideal for a comprehensive review - not just for those core topics, but also the highest yield topics, are covered in just five days. It is highly unlikely the “Surprise Topic” will be a surprise at all.

If you prefer hands-on, our Oral Exam Workshop is the day before the course. Since half of it pertains to the ABOG case list, you can attend for half price and jump in for the oral exam techniques portion. Our signature Structured Cases Workshop offered the first evening of the course, is the perfect prep for your exam in just a couple of weeks. While you’re there, get some face time with one-on-one Mock Oral Exams.

Keep your momentum from the course going with our Structured Cases Webinar. This live, interactive session is timed strategically the month before your exam. It’s not a coincidence that every one of the ten core topics will be a case.  Finally, practice makes perfect and we have both face-to-face as well as telephone mock orals.

Test Taking Tips:
            You need to complete your extensive review of EACH core topic by the end of August. Yes, August is next month, so we’re talking major crunch time. The examiners will drive you to the nth degree. For each core topic you need to know the following:
  • Definition
  • Incidence
  • Pathogenesis & Etiology
  • Diagnosis
  • Laboratory evaluation
  • Radiologic studies
  • Biopsy
  • Exclusion
  • Treatment
  • Medical
  • Surgical
  • Outcome
  • Follow up
Moaning and groaning at the work to pull this off? Well, lucky for you in that Dr. Diane Evans, DO has already done this for you.  She designed our Oral Exam Webinar Archives, which review each of the ten core topics in microscopic detail. We’re delighted to report that ALL who participated in her webinar since her debut in 2011 have passed their oral exams!

ABOG  2015 ORAL Exam Candidates
The written exam was June 30. Whew, glad that’s over. The hard part is now waiting for the results. The ABOG Bulletin states you will receive your results no later than August 1. Traditionally, it does take that long, so why cry over spilled milk? Try to enjoy the summer and catch up with friends and family that you have neglected the last couple of months.

If you elect the fast track for the 2015 oral exam, you will begin collecting your cases JULY 1 – nope, that’s not a typo. No rest for the weary. Yet you cannot apply for the exam until February 2015.  However, if you wait this long to start collecting your cases, you’re already SEVEN months behind – BIG MISTAKE! Call or e-mail ABOG now to at least get the case list software from 2014. Historically, the forms remain the same. Even if they do change them, it will be a piece of cake to transfer the data.

Don’t fret about details of how to enter the data. You’ll change your mind at least a half dozen times before it’s all said and done. For all GYN patients, start a habit of collecting H&Ps, operative notes, pathology reports, and discharge summaries. For all OB patients, keep a file of the prenatal forms, delivery notes, discharge summaries, and postpartum notes. Don’t worry about the office patients yet. Take a stab at entering the data on the case list forms . . . just use your common sense.

Test Taking Technique:
Looking for a good book to read while you’re enjoying those lazy, hazy days of summer? Why not start your Oral Exam prep out on the right foot? As with any monumental task, begin with the end in mind. Dr. Das’ book, Pass Your Oral OB/GYN Board Exam will guide you through every step.


ABOG  2015 WRITTEN Exam Candidates:
The exam is a year away. Start saving your pennies. Brace yourself – the privilege to sit for this exam will cost about $1500. The application and exam fee will be due mid November. If this is your first time to take the exam and you have historically performed at least average on your CREOG in-service-training exam, then enjoy the summer. For most of you, it’s a hectic time anyway, with everyone moving up in rank.

If this is at least your second attempt, spend July minding your mind. Why did you fail? If you passed your USMLE on your first attempt and did OK on CREOG in-service training exams, then you probably need better focus of exam topics. We can easily help you with that with our Test Topics Manual.

However, if you have now failed the exam twice or more, maybe it’s time to get an expert opinion? Our education experts, Martin & Jane Jolley, have shown that for most, it’s a processing problem. Some even have a learning disability that they have well compensated for until now. To just study more is NOT the solution. Give us a call and we can arrange for an evaluation.

Test Taking Technique:
The exam is a year away. What’s the hurry? Time to kick back and soak in the summer rays, right? Right. However, in order to avoid slipping into the clutches of lazy days of summer, keep the saw
sharp by doing at least one question a day. Our Question of the Day Calendar conveniently sits right on your desk to assure you do something daily for your exam prep. Do the math; you’ll end up with, violas, 365 questions!


AOBOG  2015 WRITTEN Exam Candidates:  
The exam is almost a year away or May 1, 2015. What’s the hurry? Time to kick back and soak in the summer rays, right? Right, as long as you’ve consistently scored > 200 on your CREOG in-service-training exam. However, in order to avoid slipping into the clutches of lazy days of summer, keep the saw sharp by doing at least one question a day. Our Question of the Day Calendar conveniently sits right on your desk to assure you do something daily for your exam prep and also gives you another 365 questions.

If at any time during your residency you scored < 200 on your CREOG in-service-training exam or you failed your board exam, you need to take some time off to recharge your batteries. However, you need to start strategizing on a study plan. Wouldn’t it make the most sense to cover those high yield exam topics? Our course syllabus covers 90% of exam topics. If you attend the September 20-24 or November 16-20 Review Course, you will walk away with the priceless list. Additionally, schedule a free private consult to help you identify error patterns and how to fix them! There is also an opportunity to attend our education specialists, Jane and Martin Jolleys’ Test Taking Skills Workshop to learn evidence-based techniques.

Test Taking Technique:
The only resource to predict your performance on your board exam is the CREOG in-service-training exam. Dig out your past scores. If your standardized scores were > 200, especially during your chief year, you have an excellent chance of passing your board exam ASSUMING that you continue to progress your learning at the same pace that you have these last several years. If you score was < 200, you must devise a plan to improve both your content and test taking skills. So to put it quite blatantly, you must approach your CREOG in-service-training exam like it’s your board exam. What’s that adage? Trick me once, shame on you; trick me twice, shame on me.


ABOG Maintenance of Certification (MOC) :

            Part II: Lifelong Learning

You should be half way through with your 2nd quarter articles by now. Of course, you can extend or drag out all the articles all the way up until the December deadline, but WHY? 

For those of you in your third year, you should have started the Safety Course. You cannot enter it until you have completed 60 questions from the 1st or 2nd quarter articles. The Safety Course is accessed only on-line, so if you’re one who likes to print out the articles and questions, you’re out of luck.

Part III: Secure Written Exam

Those of you in MOC Year 6, you must pass a written exam by December 15. We have a number of products to help you prepare for and pass your written exam. For those of you who have always tapped into a review course in preparing for your board certifying exams, you’ll no doubt benefit greatly by attending one of our five day review courses being held September 20-24 and November 16-20. This is not the same type of review course as in the past. Just as you evolve and practice evidence-based medicine, our course is designed for the adult learner, is exam-focused, and all lectures follow the national ACOG guidelines. Heck, you’ll walk away with loads of everyday practice tips, too.

Our Annual MOC Manuals summarize each of the articles AND have written questions since 2009. Think of them as Cliff notes, as they will save you oodles of time. You are also accountable for Safety and Professionalism. Remember, you completed the Safety course in your third year, but you could not print out the articles. Fortunately, ABC had the foresight to create a Safety Course Manual as well.

ABOG has confirmed that emphasis will be placed on both the Compendium and the 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  September 19, and November 15 that provides the perfect review of those overlapping MOC articles AND written questions. Although we know you’ll get the most out of it by attending, if you just can’t, the next best thing is purchasing the MOC Written Exam Workshop binder.

Are you a bit rusty on written exams? Our Question of the Day Calendar conveniently sits right on your desk to assure you do something daily for your exam prep and also gives you another 365 questions.  Still looking for more questions? Our Written Question Manuals provide an additional 900+ questions, plus a narrative explanation for each answer along with references.  We must be doing something right, as so far 100% of those attending either the MOC Workshop and/or the course have passed since ABOG started this mandatory process!                     

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 choose 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. The strategy is in matching the exam selective to your mode of practice. Call Dr. Das today at 877-222-6249 and she will personally guide you through this confusing but critical step.
Generalist: Selective Exam A & B (50 questions)
 Subspecialists: Selective Exam A (50 questions)
We’re getting lots of questions as to how to choose your selectives. The Board gives an itemization of the exam topics. Believe or not, it is the same list for the primary written exam and the oral exam case list categories, although fortunately, the focus 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 as follows:
  1. Obstetrics – Antepartum, Intrapartum, Postpartum.
  2. Gynecology only - Inpatient & Outpatient GYN focus, including REI, Urogyn and Oncology
  3. 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

  1. Safety
  2. Anatomy & Physiology, Basic Sciences
  3. Genetics
  4. Ethics & Professionalism

AOBOG Osteopathic Continuous Certification in Obstetrics & Gynecology (OCC)
Unlike the past recertification exam, the OCC written exam is offered only once annually at the spring ACOOG clinical meeting; the next being April 14, 2015. Although the examination can be taken during the last two years of the OCC cycle, you must pass the written exam by the end of your six-year cycle. Come to one of our fall courses -  either September 20-24 or November 16-20 to jump start your studying.In addition, you need to complete five Practice Performance Assessments (PPA) in a six year OCC cycle. More importantly, you must complete 3 PPA modules before you can take your written exam. Since these modules take some time to complete, we strongly recommend you begin a module in your first year of your OCC cycle and complete one module every year.

Test Taking Tip:

To access the PPAs, go the aobog.org and then access each module through the O-CAT website. Each module requires you to log 10 consecutive patients in that module topic area. Your results will be measured against national standards. If you fall below the acceptable threshold, there will be a required educational activity followed by a reassessment in the same module with 10 new consecutive cases. Oh, and by the way, your logged cases are subject to audit.  Since these modules take some time to complete, it is recommended you begin a module in the first or second year of the OCC 6 year cycle.


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