July 2019 Tip of the Month

Comprehensive Case List Review

We offer case list reviews from now until August 15th.  Our seasoned faculty can pinpoint errors, column confusion and areas to improve.  You will also have an opportunity to speak directly with your reviewer by phone and ask any questions you may have lingering.  Call Angela Hare in our office today.  877-222-6249

For ABOG 2019 ORAL Exam Candidates

The case list and your examination fee of $1025 are both due 8/1/19. 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 also 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; our course is September 17-22, 2019. However, if your exam is not until December, January, or February, then come to our November 19-24, 2019 course.

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 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.


Diagnostic Procedures Results



Painful vulvar lesions  

H&P (ulcerations on vulva)

STD counseling

Resolution of symptoms

Culture (Herpes)




Subspecialty Fellows Planning for their 2019 ABOG General Oral Board Exam

The cases for your specialty must come from your fellowship. Your office case list must also 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. Dr. Das’ book, 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 offer one course right out of the gate on September 17-22 and then another course from November 19-24.

Case List Construction Tip:
You are required to have exactly 20 patients in your off specialty list. However, it is much to your advantage to have as many categories as possible. This gives you, rather than the examiner, more control. If you have sparse topics, 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. I challenge you to have 20 categories.

For AOBOG 2019 ORAL Exam Candidates

Applications for April 2020 exam are available online 9/1/19. AOBOG limits the number of candidates who can sit, so apply as soon as possible.  After many years, AOBOG has decided to change not only the traditional ten core topics but also the exam administration. Some of the core topics now are very broad, so it’s critical to conduct a thorough review. ABC’s Oral Exam Home Study package is perfect to help you prepare for your big day in the comfort of your home or office. Pair this with our Mock Orals and you will have a solid study plan. ABC is the first in the country to offer a product designed to help you with the “4th Station” on your exam. If you don’t even know what that is, you especially need it! For those of you planning for the Spring 2020 exam, I hope it’s obvious that it is not to your advantage to procrastinate. Rest assured that we will be having our signature Oral Exam Webinar, which was designed by a DO for DOs.  This three-month webinar, starting in early 2020, reviews each of the core topics in great detail. The interactive format of the webinar gives you an opportunity to jump on the hot seat or just sit back and listen until you’re ready. We’re delighted to report that 99% who have participated in this webinar since 2011 have passed their exam!

Test Taking Tips:
Refer to aobog.org for the topics and conduct for the oral exam. The exam is still four hours, but the candidate will rotate hourly through four stations. Three stations will use scenarios developed from the topic list. The fourth station will include “visual slides, ultrasounds, video clips or monitor strips to introduce the essay type scoring.” You must obtain a minimum of 75 out of 100 possible points to pass a scenario and must pass 9 of the 12 scenarios to pass the exam.


For ABOG 2020 ORAL Exam Candidates

The written exam was June 24. 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 2020 oral exam, you will begin collecting your cases JULY 1 – nope, that’s not a typo. No rest for the weary. Even though you cannot apply for the exam until February 2020, if you wait that long to start collecting your cases, you’re already SEVEN months behind – BIG MISTAKE! 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 online . . . 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.


For ABOG 2020 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 by 19th. 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 you can sit back and 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 a better focus on exam topics. We can easily help you with that with our Test Topics Manual.

For AOBOG 2020 WRITTEN Exam Candidates

The exam is almost a year away or April 13-18, 2020. 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. 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 November 20-24 Review Course, you will walk away with the priceless list. Additionally, our Test Taking Skills Online Course can help you identify error patterns and how to fix them!

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 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 bluntly, 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 halfway 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 online, so if you’re one who likes to print out the articles and questions, you’re out of luck. Part III: Secure Written Exam If you have averaged 86% on your article questions, you are exempt from taking the written exam. You can check your status on your homepage.

If you are not exempt, and you are in MOC Year 6, you must pass a written exam by December 16. 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 18-22 and November 20-24. 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. Still looking for more questions? Our Written Questions Manuals provide an additional 1400+ questions, plus a narrative explanation for each answer along with references.  Check out our new online Q Banks that consist of a series of 50 multiple choice single best answer questions. These are a great addition to help give you more practice. We must be doing something right, as so far 100% of those attending 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 2019 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. Dr. Das has created a  series of videos to help with 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
We’re getting lots of questions as to how to choose your selectives. VIEW our snippets here. 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)

The OCC written exam is now computerized and offered in the spring and fall at all Pearson VUE centers. The examination can be taken during the last two years of the OCC cycle, but you must pass the written exam by the end of your six-year cycle. Come to one of our fall courses – either September 18-22 or November 20-24 to jump-start your studying. Our September review course is perfect timing as it is the week prior to the OCC September 23-28 exam. In addition, you need to complete your Practice Performance Assessments (PPA) in a six-year OCC cycle. According to a convoluted table on the FAQ's on AOBOG site, the number of PPA's and which one is mandatory change according to the year of recertification. All required PPA's must be completed by September 15th of the year of recertification.  is testing a pilot program – q 2 weeks you receive a written Q via e-mail and have 4 minutes to complete it. We’re not privy to their intent, we’ll let you know when we know.

Test Taking Tip:
To access the PPAs, go to 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 and complete one module annually. Of note, the PPA on communication has required patient surveys that take some time to obtain and enter.

Royal Canadian College
2020 Exam Candidates 

The exam is a year away with the Written exam schedules for April 28-29, 2020 at regional centres.  Then at the end of the month, you will sit for the OSCE practical exam on May 26th, 2020 in Ottawa.  Start saving your money as your application fee will cost about $. The application and exam fee will be due by January 13th.

MFM 2020 ORAL Exam Candidates

It’s summertime!  And now that we’re in July, that means you’ve paid your application fee for the exam - you’ve committed. We’re here for you every step of the way forward from here! The next hurdle will be getting your thesis submitted. Make sure you have the affidavit form to go with it, that needs to be signed by your fellowship director. Also, make sure it is formatted to the style the board requires. This is a great time to send your final draft to ABC for a thesis review. Email Angela Hare at angela@americasboardreview.com for more information.

FPMRS 2020 Certifying (ORAL) Exam Candidates (April 27 – 30, 2020)

Application is now closed. For those that have received your application confirmation, you should be receiving a notice of your acceptance for the examination sometime in September. If you have not already done so, your examination fee will need to be paid on or before September 30th, 2019.

Your thesis submission deadline will be approaching soon….. Deadline September 30th, 2019.  Make sure you have the affidavit form to go with your thesis completed and signed by your fellowship director. Also, make sure your thesis is formatted to the style the board requires and the format of the intended journal. Remove any institutional identifying information in your manuscript. This is a great time to send out your final draft to us at ABC for a thesis review. Email Jennifer Hastings at jennifer@americasboardreview.com for more information. Also, approach your colleagues and mentors that can provide you with a good thesis critic/review for their help. 

Continue working on your case list entry. Avoid procrastination.  Case list submission deadline is Feb 3, 2020, and will be here before you know it.

We are ready to get you prepared for this examination…..Register now for our November 22-24 FPMRS Review Course in Charlotte NC.  During our 3-days together we will review high yield topics, construction of your case list, study design and statistics along with group round-robin structured cases.  Optional 1-on-1 thesis reviews to course registrants.

Back to blog