December 2014 ABC Advisor

ABC Faculty Jaime Knopman, MD, FACOG

Dr. Knopman earned a BA at the University of Pennsylvania where she graduated summa cum laude. She then attended medical school at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and was elected into AOA. She completed her OB/GYN residency at New York University (NYU) School of Medicine and had so much fun that she stayed for her REI fellowship. Dr. Knopman is double board certified in OB/GYN and REI and is a Clinical Instructor at Mt. Sinai. Although she has a number of publications, she’s on the ABC faculty because of her excellence in teaching. She recognizes that most generalists find REI intimidating since it’s not practiced daily. She says it best by “as dorky as this sounds, I think my passion for the material makes it easier to learn. Preaching about steroid pathways and abnormal pubertal development doesn't help anyone learn; making the material relevant, interesting and fun allows students to retain the information.”


For ABOG 2014 ORAL Exam Candidates:

DECEMBER Exam Candidates

Were you feeling blessed on Thanksgiving because it will finally be over? Well, ask and ye shall receive!

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. We’re bringing our best, so you can be at your best. Dr. Kerry Griffin will be in Dallas from Monday, December 1 to Wednesday, December 3. He will do whatever it takes to get you feeling confident just before your test. He can give Mock Oral Exams, test you with our signature Structured Cases, defuse those landmines on your Case List, or even give you a crash lecture on a weak topic. These spots fill very quickly, so call now to reserve yours.

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 your getting a sure pass question correct. Envision your last answer just rolling off your shoulder and dropping onto the floor. When you gleefully skip out of the room, you will leave a heap of answers on the floor.

Remember,  just 70%!

JANUARY Exam Candidates

Does it seem like the holidays will never end? Worse yet, are you thinking you’ll buckle down after the holidays? You must be disciplined and organized to stay on track during the holiday season. Promise yourself that just as you finish your last bite of Thanksgiving turkey, you’ll begin studying in earnest. There is still time to jump in and view our archived Structured Cases Webinar. This webinar is a high yield opportunity to master the Structured Case portion of your exam, practice and then rehearse to perfection with the archives.

Make sure to budget both study time AND family time or Santa will leave you lumps of coal. Strengthen your strengths, and review your review. Pull out your Test Topics Manual from the course. Now you know why they are yellow, as they are worth their weight in gold. Fill in the answers and voila! -you have condensed the 1200 page binder into 110 pages!

The #1 regret of exam takers is they wished they had done more Mock Orals. You have all kinds of resources to tap into - local and regional colleagues, 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 is 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.

If you promise to be good, Santa might drop by early. Although it’s best to target your studying based on your mock oral performance, you can also learn from others. Our oral exam Frequently Asked Questions, provides a checklist of questions to anticipate for each topic.

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. Dr. Krishna Das - yeah, the lady who wrote THE book on oral exam preparation, will help you ring in the New Year in Dallas from Sunday to Wednesday before your exam. She will do whatever it takes to get you feeling confident walking into your exam. She can give Mock Oral Exams, test you with our signature Structured Cases, defuse those landmines on your case list, or even give you a crash lecture on a weak topic. These spots fill very quickly, so call now to reserve yours.

Test Taking Technique  

Your exam will start with the Structured Cases. The lead-in question is brief – just a few words or no more than a sentence. About half are immediately followed by three questions:      What is your differential diagnosis?

             How would you work up the patient?
             How would you manage her?

Everyone on the day of your exam is asked the same case; thus we’ve nicknamed it Case of the Day. This portion of the exam reflects the Board’s attempt to standardize the exam. The cases are straightforward management down the algorithm pathway. Remember, everybody will be asked the same questions as you. So work on developing a depth to your differential diagnoses; try to come up with at least three working diagnoses. Also, start with the most logical- when you hear hoof beats, think of a horse before a zebra.  The next question, “How would you work her up?” is dependent upon how you answered the first.


Our signature Structured Cases CDs and Structured Cases Webinar cover 150+ cases. They will impart that lovely deja vu feeling during your exam … ho hum. . . can’t you ask me something that I don’t know?

For ABOG 2015 ORAL Exam Candidates:

You cannot apply for the 2015 oral exam until February 1, 2015. However, if you wait this long to enter cases, you’re already EIGHT months behind. Remember, the collections started July 1, 2014. Order your ABOG case list software today. Your application and the application fee of $840 are due by March 15.

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, you should have a file containing each patient’s H&P, operative notes, pathology reports, and discharge summaries. For OB patients, their file should contain their prenatal form, delivery notes, discharge summaries and postpartum notes. Don’t make it complicated - just enter the cases based on your clinical and common sense.

Rest assured, we have Case List Construction Workshops scheduled as early as April, 2015. For those who need a complete step-by-step guide, order your copy of Dr. Das’ book, Pass Your Oral Ob/Gyn Board Exam, the first and best selling guide on oral exam prep since 1998.

Case List Construction Tip

You should finish the year strong by having all your cases entered by December 31 … and yes, you should still be able to attend that New Year’s party.

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 41 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 the categories. Remember, you can only apply up to 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.

Finally, brace yourself for this one, but you do not need to study yet. No, that’s not a typo. OK, if you just can’t refrain, then keep up with the Compendium, especially the updates in the back of the Green Journal. Seriously, if you start now, you’ll just burn out. Besides, you will want to study initially based on your case list topics… and those are still evolving.

Subspecialty Fellows Sitting for their 2015 ABOG General Oral Board Exam

I have good news and bad news. Subspecialty fellows sitting for their general oral boards will be held to the same level of competence as the generalists. The good news is that the general oral boards are way easier than your subspecialty boards. It will require minimal work and your only preparation entails recapturing the generalist’s perspective of your specialty.

The bah humbug news is that you will be required to have the same level of competence as the generalists in your off-specialty topics, too. This is actually good news, but you specialists know so much about your specialty that you have forgotten how to put on the brakes. Thus, you have this ridiculous notion that you have to relearn your off-specialty topics to this extreme level as well. Take this as a gift from Santa that all you need to know are the basics. Have your chief resident help you out and quiz you.

Test Taking Technique  

Our signature Structured Cases are ideal for subspecialists for two reasons. Half of your exam is the structured cases so you’ll become very comfortable with this format Additionally, the cases are grouped according to topic, so this is a fantastic study tool to fill in those gaps on your off-specialty topics.

For AOBOG & ABOG 2015 WRITTEN Exam Candidates

The exam is in 5 and 6 months, respectively. You can still apply for the June ABOG exam, but not without a late fee. The $1175 examination fee for the AOBOG exam is due by February 23.

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, it’s now time to develop a study plan. Begin by doing some soul searching to develop a realistic plan. Make sure to plan to take at least two days off in order to avoid burn out and start first with the MUST KNOW topics. Our Test Topics Manual is a good resource to show you the way. Although it’s helpful to plan the big picture for the whole year’s study schedule, plot only December with the specifics. You will need this as a starting point to get a better feel for how to better budget subsequent months’ study plans. Limit yourself to a clinical review and don’t forget to budget time for written questions on each topic.

If this is at least your second attempt, you should have already implemented your study plan. If you have not done so, review the guidance above. By this time, you should have figured out realistically how to predict the time required to review a topic. Do more soul searching to develop a realistic plan through May.  

If you have traditionally struggled with the written exam format, we strongly recommend you attend our education specialists, Jane and Martin Jolleys’ Test Taking Skills Workshop in Denver, Colorado, on December 13.

Test Taking Technique

 Since 2010, ABOG no longer reports your score for the written board exam, So, unfortunately the only resource to gauge your performance is the CREOG in-service-training exam. You need to dig out your past scores. If your standardized scores were

 > 210, especially during your chief year, you have an excellent chance of passing your board exam. If not, 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.

Chief Residents Planning A Subspecialty Fellowship

I know you’re excited to matriculate into your beloved subspecialty, but it’s time to also strategize for your general oral exam. Subspecialty fellows are permitted to select a minimum of 20 applied 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. Therefore, make sure you 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 cases later. Also, the more categories you chose, the greater depth and breadth. Not only does this bode well for a first impression, but more importantly, assures that the examiner won’t run out of time choosing cases from your list. The holiday spirit is ruined if he gets to now reload with his ammunition and make up hypothetical patients.

For prospective cases, keep a file of the following: for the GYN patients, collect the H&Ps, operative notes, pathology reports, and discharge summaries; for the OB patients, keep a file of the prenatal forms, delivery notes, discharge summaries and postpartum notes. Don’t worry about the office patients at all, as you may compile these only during your fellowship.

A word of caution – right now you are at your peak for general OB/GYN knowledge. Believe it or not, even one year 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. Talk about bah humbug! Your greatest allies are your junior residents. If they can’t easily defend that case, then cease and desist and “go fish” for another.

For AOBOG 2015 Oral Exam Candidates

For those preparing for the May oral exam, you may have to forego holiday presents, as your $3250 application fee is due January 12, 2015. Happy New Year, indeed. . . Bah humbug!

Our April 15-19, 2015 Board Review Course is strategically timed just a few weeks before your exam. Did you know that our syllabus even highlights EACH core topic? As you know, the ten core topics are actually about 50 topics and our course will provide a comprehensive review of OB/GYN. Also, this is the ideal time to pull it all together with face-to-face mock orals exams. We also have an evening session that puts each core topic under the microscope and painstakingly goes through potential exam topics.

Test Taking Technique

We are bringing back our Oral Exam Webinar  just for those preparing for their May oral exam. So far, we are batting a 99% pass rate for webinar attendees. Perhaps one of the reasons why we’re the tops in the country is because our webinar is taught by a DO for DOs. Dr. Diane Evans, DO, passionately believes it takes one to know one. She will put you on a regimented study plan GUARANTEED to get through all ten core topics from February to April.  Call 1-877-222-6249, as she is limiting the number of participants to assure an ideal student:teacher ratio. Talk about being spoon fed! You’ll be cooing like a baby when it’s time for your exam.

ABOG Maintenance of Certification (MOC)

Part II: Lifelong Learning

ALL the 45 2014 articles are due December 15, even for those of you who also took your written exam this year. I know a rare few of you haven’t even done any. If you’re desperate, you need to pass 80% of 120 questions, so that’s only 30 of the 45 articles; however, you only get 25, rather than 35, Category I CME credits. The holidays are rushed enough without having to also complete the articles while waiting in the shopping line. You don’t want Santa to stuff your stocking with a big fat late fee!

Remember also that you must have enrolled in at least one practice module each year. If you have not, that can also be grounds to yank your certification - YIKES!

For ALL in the MOC program

It’s time to pay to play. Your renewal for Part II or the articles for 2015 is due December 15th.  The list of journal articles for the first quarter should be out by mid-January.

Welcome and congratulations to those who just passed their November primary oral exam. You thought you would have a long-deserved coast and goof off time since you worked so hard for your oral boards, right? Well, think again… no rest for the weary! You must enroll in the MOC program by January, 2015. Come join the fun, as misery loves company.

Part III: Secure Written Exam

For those of you about to enter MOC Year 6 in 2015, you must pass a written exam by Dec 15, 2015. Incredibly, you get FIVE attempts to pass the exam and can take it practically any day of the year!

If you’re a gunner and trying to get on Santa’s “nice” list for 2015, take the exam on January 2. We have several products that are great reading during your holiday travels. Our Annual MOC Manuals, since 2010, summarize each of the articles AND have written questions. 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.

Finally, the Board has acknowledged that an 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 you can purchase our MOC Written Exam Workshop Binder. This binder provides a perfect review of those overlapping MOC articles AND written questions.

Now for those of you who have never taken short cuts and want a 100% guarantee that you’ll pass your exam, come to our April 15-19, 2015 Board Review Course. 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, is exam-focused, and all lectures follow the national ACOG guidelines. Heck, you’ll walk away with loads of every day practice tips, too.

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.

Generalist: Selective Exam A & B (50 questions)

    1. Obstetrics and Gynecology and Office Practice & Women’s Health
    2. Obstetrics only
    3. Gynecology only (tends to have more Surgical GYN focus)
    4. Office Practice and Women’s Health only (primary care, office GYN & family planning focus)
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 which combination of selectives will optimize your chances of passing. Call 877-222-6249 to arrange a private consult with Dr. Das to help you in choosing your exam selectives.

AOBOG Osteopathic Continuous Certification in Obstetrics & Gynecology (OCC)

Everyone has entered into the mandatory OCC cycle. Although the recertification written exam has now been phased out, you must take a formal proctored written exam, starting as early as year four of your six year OCC cycle. This exam is offered only at the spring ACOOG conference (April 14, 2015).

Additionally, you must complete 5 Practice Performance Assessments (PPA) in each 6 year OCC cycle. These 5 PPAs must be completed by September 15th of the year your certificate expires.


Test Taking Tips

ABOG lists that exam topics may include, but are not limited to the following:

Medical conditions complicating pregnancy

Hypertensive disorders in pregnancy

Diabetes mellitus in pregnancy: screening and management

Ectopic pregnancy: diagnosis and management

Maternal antenatal screening for aneuploidy

HIV in pregnancy

Infectious disease in pregnancy: maternal and fetal effects/complications

Sexually transmitted infections

Labor management

Preterm labor: diagnosis and management including appropriate use of fetal fibronectin, cervical lengths, and antenatal steroids

HPV: infection, manifestations, vaccine

Abnormal cervical cytology and histology: diagnosis & management

Gynecologic procedures: indications, complications, peri-operative management

Menopause management

Low bone mass/osteoporosis: screening, prevention, management

BRCa 1&2: counseling and implications

Urinary incontinence

Abnormal uterine bleeding


Pelvic pain




 Osteopathic Principles may be incorporated into any of the above areas.

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