August Tip of the Month

Saju Joy, MD, MS, FACOG
ABC Webinar Lecturer and Mock Oral Faculty

Dr. Joy earned a BS in Computer Engineering and Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University. He went to medical school at the University of North Carolina and completed his OB/GYN residency at University of Florida and then migrated north to Ohio State for his Maternal Fetal Medicine fellowship. Dr. Joy is Medical Director of the Women’s Institute, Division Chief of MFM at the Carolinas Medical Center and a Clinical Associate Professor at University of North Carolina.  Oh, and in his spare time, he recently obtained his MBA!

ABOG 2015 ORAL Exam Candidates

If you met the August 3rd case list deadline, congratulate yourself for getting that big gorilla off your back. Take a one week break to recharge your batteries.

If you’re going to extend to the August 17th deadline, dole out your $345 late fee and “git R done”.

You should also have submitted your $975 examination fee by August 1st. If you got caught up in getting your case list done, but overlooked this menial task, you also get to pay a $345 late fee.

By now, you know the month of your exam. It’s time to research your review course options and register. Obviously we’re a bit biased, as we feel we have the ideal course; however, you should look for the following features. We recommend a BOARD review course, not just a review course, for an exam focused review. You also want a faculty that lectures in accordance with the latest ACOG recommendations and not on their boring research or the latest, yet unproven, fads. The faculty needs to be especially knowledgeable in the oral exam process and content and also provide Mock Oral Exams and Case List Reviews. Our courses are September 16-20 and November 18-22.

Ideally, complement the content covered at the review course with both an Oral Exam and a Structured Cases Workshop devoted to the strategies of taking an oral exam. The earlier you take these workshops, the better, as your studying will take far more time than you budgeted; so it is better to identify as early as possible the topics you need to prioritize. We offer these workshops the day before and during our courses, September 15 and November 17, respectively. We will also be conducting a Structured Cases Webinar, September through November. You can register for one, two or three month-long sessions, walking away with 72 cases upon completion!

Half of your test is defending your case list. Send your case list NOW to your following local/regional consultants or colleagues for recommendations in DEFENDING your case list:

            Case list component                               Reviewer

                        OB                                        MFM, generalist

                        GYN                                     GYN ONC, Urogyn, generalist

                        Office                                    Generalist, REI, FP, IM

Make sure you give them a strict deadline. Since the clock is ticking, now is the time to schedule time to sit down and review their recommendations. The ABC faculty can review your case list one-on-one at either of the fall courses, or we can provide a Comprehensive Case List Review.

Spend the second week in August drafting a study plan. Remember this is not set in stone, but it’s imperative to know what you’re up against. If your test is in November, you’ll be shocked with how little time is left. On the other hand, if your test is in January, don’t procrastinate and waste precious time either.

Study Tip
Lock your textbooks away. The only references you will need are the Compendium, Precis, Prologs, and did we mention THE COMPENDIUM? These are the answer guides to your test. Contact if you need to order the newest version. A well-kept secret is to check in the back of the green journal, Obstetrics & Gynecology, every month for the latest updates to the Compendium. You’ll really impress the examiner if you are that current.


Subspecialty Fellows Sitting for their 2015 ABOG General Oral Board Exam

Now that your case list has been turned in, you recognize how much you forgot in your off-specialty subjects. So that’s where they get the expression, “If you don’t use it, you lose it”. Our review course is IDEAL for fellows, as we tell you just what you need to know; then you can joyfully repress it again after your test. Even if your exam is not until January, there is a LOT to relearn - OK, for some of you to learn. We strongly recommend you come to our September 16-20 course to gather all the material you will need for 90% of your test.

We’re most sincere when we say, “You can do it … we can help”.

We can help -- a LOT.

Study Tip
Raise your right hand and repeat after me, “I solemnly swear that I will NOT study my subspecialty topics until last. Actually, you don’t even need to study them at all. But if you insist, review it from a generalist’s perspective. After all, you are taking your general oral exam.


AOBOG 2015 ORAL Exam Candidates

 Applications for the 2015 fall exam are now closed. Applications for the April, 2016 exam are now available. The application fee of $750 and examination fee of $3250 are both due by December 1, 2015.

For those preparing for your October 9 and 10, 2015 exam, we have a September 16-20 course strategically timed just before your exam. Obviously we’re a bit biased, as we feel we have the ideal course; however, you should look for the following features. We recommend a BOARD review course, not just a 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. 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 recommendations. Did you know our syllabus is highlighted with the core topics? Take advantage of private face-to-face mock orals while at the course. Finally, since 2011 we’ve been batting a 99% pass rate for course attendees!

Our signature Structured Cases Webinar Session I, starting in September, is designed to cover the core topics. Hop on the hot seat and fine tune your skills just before your exam. Can’t attend? Don’t worry, each session is archived.

Test Taking Tips
If you’re taking your exam in October, you should have completed your extensive review of EACH core topic. Use the following checklist for each core topic, as the examiners will drive you to the nth degree.
Pathogenesis & Etiology
Laboratory evaluation
Radiologic studies
Follow up
Be prepared to give at least three for your differential diagnosis and treatment options.
 If you haven’t finished your review or you just want to cross reference your product against the gold standard, consider our archived Oral Exam Webinar. This webinar by Dr. Diane Evans was designed by and for DOs. She puts each of the ten core topics under the microscope. All but one who has participated in her webinar since 2011 has passed their exam. Partner the webinar with the course, and you’ve got the ultimate preparation.
You can do it … we can help.


ABOG 2016 ORAL Exam Candidates

The results for the written boards will come out this month. If you choose the fast track,  you can sit right away for your oral exam. However, remember the collections started JULY 1, as in last month.

You cannot apply for the 2016 oral exam until February, 2016. However, if you wait this long to enter cases you’re already EIGHT months behind – BIG MISTAKE! Call or e-mail ABOG now to get your case list software.

Don’t fret about details of how to enter the data because you’ll change your mind at least a half dozen times. 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.

Rest assured, we have Case List Construction Workshops scheduled for as early as April, 2016. Trust me - it’s overwhelming to attend one sooner. It’s like trying to teach advanced shoulder dystocia maneuvers before you’ve even delivered a baby. 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. Start today to create a good habit of collecting and entering cases.

Strategy Tip
Should you get in the fast lane and go for the accelerated track or sit back and relax a year? If you just started your subspecialty fellowship or if your practice will be limited (e.g. GYN only or laborist), jump on the fast track. You will be shocked at how quickly you will forget your off specialty. Besides, the fast track isn’t really warp speed since your exam is not until the fall of 2016.
On the other hand, if you just started a general OB/GYN practice, sit back and take a well-deserved break. Not only do you need some time to adjust to being out on your own, but this experience will catapult you leaps and bounds ahead in your clinical acumen. It’s similar to that exponential learning curve in going from a medical student to an intern. This newfound experience will help enormously when you sit for your exam two years later.  

ABOG & AOBOG 2016 Written Exam Candidates 

The exam is a year away. If this is your first time to take the exam and you have historically performed average on your CREOG in-service-training exam, you can enjoy the summer. For most of you, it’s a hectic time anyway, with everyone moving up in rank.

Applications for the ABOG exam are available on-line September 1st.  Don’t shoot the messenger, but in case you need to budget, the $1470 application and examination fee will be due by mid-November.

Applications for the AOBOG exam are not available until January 1st, 2016. Better yet, the $1150 application and examination fee is not due until April 1st, just before your exam.

If this will be your second attempt, spend August doing some soul searching. WHY did you fail? If this was your first attempt and you have a reasonable excuse, such as you simply did not study, or had a significant distraction, such as being newly postpartum or a family crisis, you can cut yourself some slack. However, promise to commit this next year to passing.

If you have failed at least twice, there is a pattern. We strongly advise you to come to our November 18-22 course. Not only do you need to come out running at the six month mark, but perhaps it’s time you consider an evaluation by our education experts, Martin and Jane Jolley.

For now, it’s too early to start studying in earnest - you’ll just burn out. Step away and heal emotionally. Decide if you can and will truly commit to adequately preparing for this exam. If the answer is anything but an emphatic yes, you are setting yourself up for another disappointment. Statistically, the chances of failing the exam again after two attempts are dismally high. However, the program established by ABC and the Jolleys has completely defied those odds. To say that we’ve blown them off the charts is an understatement. Call us and let us individualize a custom plan for you.

Test Taking Tip
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!

ABOG Maintenance of Certification (MOC)

Part II: Lifelong Learning

The third and last quarter articles come out next month. Have you let some of the second and first quarter articles collect dust? Have you even done any? Remember that all 45 articles are due December 15th. So do the math. With four months remaining, that means 10+ articles per month.

Furthermore, don’t forget that you must have enrolled in at least one practice module each year. If you have not, this can also be grounds to yank your certification – YIKES!

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 15th. 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 since 2010 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.

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 offer a one day MOC Written Exam Workshop on  September 15th, and on November 17th 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 BinderAre 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)
  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)
 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 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 Recertification Written Exam Candidates, Osteopathic Continuous Certification in Obstetrics & Gynecology (OCC)

      Not surprisingly, since ABOG and AOBOG are sister organizations, AOBOG has now officially adopted a time limited certification and changed the recertification process to Osteopathic Continuous Certification in Obstetrics & Gynecology (OCC). You will need to take and pass a written exam every six years. Unfortunately, it is offered only once a year, but can be taken as early as year 5.

      Additionally, you must now also complete 5 Practice Performance Assessments (PPA) in a 6 year OCC cycle.

      Test Taking Tip
      To access the PPAs go the and 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! 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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