Krishna Das, MD, FACOG
ABC Course Director to provide one on one mock orals in Dallas. 

November Oral exam candidates have now received their exact exam day so ABC is now scheduling Do or Die in Dallas sessions. These private mock orals can be on your case list or structured case portion of the test.  Each one on one 55 minute sessions are limited and are on a first-come first served basis.  Contact Angela Hare in our office for more information.

For ABOG 2015 ORAL Exam Candidates

NOVEMBER Exam Candidates

OK, the exam is next month, so it’s time to pull it all together. You need to come out running with mock oral exams. Plan to meet with those who reviewed your case list earlier and ask them to give you a mock oral. It’s also time to call for reinforcements and recruit other sources, such as local and regional colleagues, academicians, subspecialists, and generalists. After each mock oral, go back for a targeted review of missed topics. Figure out your new game plan and try it out with the next mock oral.

A great way to finish strong, or to salvage what’s left for you procrastinators, is to come to one of ABCs one day Oral Exam Workshops. Don’t want to reinvent the wheel? Our Oral Exam FAQs itemizes those questions most frequently asked for specific topics.

Half of your exam is the case of the day. You can simulate the exam with either our Structured Cases Workshop CD or our Structured Cases CD. These are invaluable study guides that can be used for self-study or more importantly, have others quiz you so you can practice out loud. Speaking of practicing out loud, our Structured Cases Webinar is divided into three one-month sessions, with webinars conducted weekly. Given that you have a November exam, you can participate in two sessions and walk away with 48 cases. It’s a great benchmark to see if you’re ready, since these examiners don’t know you and are skilled in simulating the exam atmosphere. Brrrr, did it just get icy? Warm up by playing back the webinar archives, then jump right back into the hot seat with the next live webinar session.

Did we mention mock oral exams? The number one regret of past candidates is they wished they had taken more mock oral exams. Although we’re a fan of using those familiar resources aforementioned, now’s the time to call in the “A” team, as in the ABC faculty. ABC offers Case List Reviews, Mock Oral Exams, and our signature, one-of-a-kind structured cases by phone. We can take it up a notch by offering eye-to-eye mock oral exams on Skype, but you’ll need to provide the glaring, white light.

The icing on the cake is our Do or Die In Dallas session. Dr. Krishna Das, yeah - the lady who wrote THE book, Pass Your OB/GYN Oral Exam, will be in Dallas November 1st through 4th. She’s seen it all and can warm you up for your big day with last minute polishing (or cramming for some) through private sessions on whatever you need … mock orals, structured cases, etc.

Test Taking Technique  
The strategy for GUESSING depends on the exam component. If you are defending your case list, then GUESS only if you are reasonably (80%) sure. For example, if you are asked, “What does the CA of CA-125 stand for?” Some possible answers might include:
  • If you don’t know the exact answer, but do know something about the topic, then qualify your answer with what you do know, such as “I know it is a laboratory serum tumor marker for epithelial ovarian cancers. It is most helpful as a marker for recurrence of disease, but has limitations as a screening tool. I cannot recall what the CA stands for, but I can readily look it up in our laboratory reference manual at my office”.
  • If it’s vaguely familiar, it is better to respond, “I cannot recall at this time”.
  • If you have absolutely no idea, then respond, “I don’t know”.
(FYI – The answer is “Cancer Antigen”)
On the other hand, if it’s on the structured cases section, then come up with something … anything. If you just say “I don’t know” you will get ZERO points for that question; whereas if you come up with something, you will at least get partial credit.  Remember - all the other candidates that day will be asked the same question, and somebody is going to know the answer, so don’t leave that stone unturned if possible.
There will always be some questions for which you do not know the answers. You may have easily passed the question, but the examiner will drive you to the point where you think you don’t know, simply to explore the depth of your understanding. Remember, it’s also a great strength to recognize when you have reached your limitations.

DECEMBER Exam Candidates

Your exam is in two months – crunch time and holidays. You WILL and MUST budget time for your family - remember them? Forewarned is forearmed, so don’t set yourself up for that guilt trip of studying vs. family. You can do both if you’re organized.

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, say two weeks; and set a date now to discuss their recommendations. The ABC faculty can also review your case list one-on-one at the fall course or can provide a Comprehensive Case List Review.

We offer a November 18-22 Review Course, timed perfectly for your exam. Even, or perhaps especially, if you’ve take another review course, this will be so well worth your while. We offer a streamlined exam-focused review in only five days. For the past four years, we’ve covered 99% of the exam topics. There will be no doubt what you need to study with three short weeks remaining before your exam. If you can’t come to us, then let ABC make a house call and you can order the course recorded on DVD or CD.

A great way to finish strong, or salvage what’s left for you procrastinators, is to come to one of our Oral Exam Workshops. Don’t want to reinvent the wheel? Our Oral Exam FAQs itemizes those questions most frequently asked for specific topics.

Half of your exam is the case of the day. You can simulate the exam with our Structured Cases CD. An invaluable study guide that can be used for self-study or more importantly, have others quiz you so you can practice out loud. Speaking of practicing out loud, our Structured Cases Webinar is divided into three one-month sessions, with webinars conducted weekly. All three sessions will end just before your exam, so you will have practiced with 72 cases!  It’s a great benchmark to see if you’re ready, since these examiners don’t know you and are skilled in simulating the exam atmosphere. Brrrr, did it just get icy? Warm up by playing back the webinar archives, then jump right back into the hot seat with the next live webinar session.

The ABC faculty is available to provide specific services in mock oral exams, case list reviews and structured cases - both at the course and later by phone.

Finally, we’ll be there in Dallas with you.  Dr. Diane Evans will host our Do or Die In Dallas December 6th through 9th. She can warm you up for your big day with last minute polishing (or cramming for some) through private sessions on whatever you need … mock orals, structured cases, etc.

Test Taking Technique  
This is an ORAL exam, so get used to talking out loud. The following topics are super high yield: vaginal breech delivery, management of shoulder dystocia, postpartum hemorrhage, the course of the ureter, and dictate a vaginal hysterectomy. Practice answering the questions to these “know-cold” topics out loud, in the mirror, or better yet to anyone who will listen.

 JANUARY Exam Candidates

Think you’re coasting, eh? A common regret is to get caught up in the holiday festivities and procrastinate studying until afterwards. Big mistake because – duh - at that point, the test is in three weeks.

Avoid tricks by sending your case list around Halloween 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, say two weeks; and set a date now to discuss their recommendations. The ABC faculty can also review your case list one-on-one at the fall courses or can provide a Comprehensive Case List Review.

Come to our November 18-22 Review Course to get crackin’. Definitely attend our Oral Exam Workshop the day before (on November 17th) and our Structured Cases Workshop on November 18th to best prepare. You can take off the next week for Thanksgiving.

Half of your exam is the case of the day. You are so lucky that your exam is in January, as you can participate in all three months of our weekly Structured Cases Webinar! You’ll end up with 72 cases! It’s a great benchmark to see if you’re ready, since these examiners don’t know you and are skilled in simulating the exam atmosphere. Brrrr, did it just get icy? Warm up by playing back the webinar archives, then jump right back into the hot seat for the next live webinar session.

Ouch! If the webinar was a rude awakening, you can get even more practice with our Structured Cases CD. They are an invaluable study tool that can be used for self-study or more importantly, have others quiz you so you can practice out loud. If you tap into all three Structured Cases products, you’ll walk away with over 150+ unique cases!

Study Tip
You MUST know your case list COLD! For every patient, make a copy of the case from your case list, draft a clinical summary, identify the patient management issues, compile the compendium references on the issues, and your clinically oriented review. Viola! Now you know her stone cold.

 

Subspecialty Fellows Sitting for their 2015 ABOG General Oral Board Exam

By now, you’ve experienced that rude awakening of just how much you forgot in your off-specialty subjects. 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 November 18-22 Review Course to gather all the material you will need for 90% of your test. For those of you who attended a previous course, but your exam is not until December or January, we’ll even let you come back to the November course for a day or two just to take mock oral exams. Heck, bring back your syllabus and we’ll let you sit through the lectures for free while you are waiting for your next mock oral exam.

A great way to grab the bull by the horns is to come to one of our one-day Oral Exam Workshops. Don’t want to reinvent the wheel? Our Oral Exam FAQs itemizes those questions frequently asked for specific topics and covers ALL of the case list categories.

Half of your exam is the case of the day. You can simulate the exam with our Structured Cases CD.  They are invaluable study guides, especially for subspecialists so you can challenge yourself with your off-specialty subjects. Our Structured Cases Webinar is ideal for subspecialists, as you can participate specifically in those off-specialty topics - ouch, better to find out now than on your exam!

You can always reach out for a comprehensive case list review on all or just your off-specialty sections of your case list for anticipated questions on your cases. Finally, we encourage you to tap into our Do or Die In Dallas, led by none other than our Course Director, Dr. Krishna Das, who will ready you for last minute polishing or cramming.

Study Strategy
Time is short. Remember you are sitting for your general boards, NOT your subspecialty boards. Starting now, don’t study anything in your subspecialty - focus entirely on your off subjects. You do not need to study to the exhaustive, minutiae detail that you are used to for your subspecialty. It will not score you any more points and is a waste of precious study time. Our Test Topics Manual will provide you with a template for an exam-focused review.

 For ABOG 2016 ORAL Exam Candidates

You cannot apply for the 2016 oral exam until February 1, 2016. However, if you wait until this long to enter cases, you’re already EIGHT months behind, since the collections started JULY 1st. 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. 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 and just use your common sense.

Rest assured, we have Case List Construction Workshops scheduled for as early as April, 2015. Start today in creating a good habit of collecting and entering cases.

For ABOG & AOBOG 2016 WRITTEN Exam Candidates

The exam is in 6 & 8 months respectively. For you ABOG folk, the $1470 application and examination fee is due THIS month by October 17th. A late fee of $345 kicks in until November 17th, followed by a really swift kick of an $825 late fee until December 17th. No applications are accepted after December 17th. For those of you taking your AOBOG exam, the $1175 examination fee is due by February 23rd.

Since ABOG no longer reports your objective score on the exam, you have no idea if you sailed through or missed passing by one point. So, unfortunately now the only correlate is the CREOG in-service-training exam. If you’re a chief resident, you must use this as a gauge to predict board performance, so you must/should prepare for this.

For those wanting to score big on their CREOGs or to explode out of the gate for your written board exam, come to our November 18-22, 2015 Review Course. This is an excellent opportunity to gather your exam-focused study material and let us put you on a customized study plan for the next six months.

Knowing the content is only half the strategy; the other is applying it. Our education specialists, Martin and Jane Jolley, will conduct their signature Test Taking Skills Workshop on November 19th. If you have not scored > 200 on your CREOG in-service training exam, failed your written board exam, or have just wished your score reflected your knowledge, this workshop is a must. In just 2 months you can perfect their method and test drive it on the January CREOG exam. Faithful users typically score one standard deviation or 20 points higher! Just imagine the possibilities for your board exam!

Test Taking Technique
Since ABOG no longer reports your score for the written board exam, the only resource to gauge your performance is the CREOG in-service-training exam. Anyone, not just residents, can take the exam, and it is STRONGLY advised for those who are repeating their board exam. Don’t worry - the results come only to you. However, the one page application and $120 examination fee is due by November 1st. Either e-mail Darya Valantsevich at  DValantsevich @acog.org or call her at 202-863-2554 to register, but hurry because the deadline is November 1.

After much ado, finally the CREOG exam is on the computer. This is good news, since the ABOG written exam has been administered on the computer since 2007. This will be great practice, as taking an exam on a computer is very different than with paper and pencil. If too much is at stake and you don’t want to experiment for the first time, take a test drive with our Computerized Diagnostic Tests.

For AOBOG Oral Exam Candidates

For those preparing for their April 29-30, 2016 exam, if you really want to get a head start, come to our November 18-22, 2015 Review Course. Did you know that our syllabus even highlights the core topics? We also have an evening session that puts each core topic under the microscope and painstakingly goes through potential exam topics.

Test Taking Tips
For those taking their Oral exam October 9th and 10th, 2015 – Good Luck! Take advantage of our Structured Cases Webinar being conducted right now. The webinar covers ten core topics! This is a fantastic opportunity to polish your oral exam skills. If you can’t participate live, you can practice privately by replaying the archives.
Remember you only need 75% to pass each core topic and 73% total to pass the exam. Don’t let the worry about what you missed interfere with your focus on the next question.  

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 as to 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 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 this only during your fellowship.

Test Taking Tips
You’re almost halfway through your academic year. You will never rotate again on certain subspecialties. It’s critical that you track those for which you will need to collect cases and strategically choose those during the rotation. Better yet, keep a list of all the cases so you have the luxury to choose which ones you want to keep. You want your case list to reflect a depth and breadth of general OB/GYN. Remember, once you leave your residency, it becomes a logistical nightmare to go back and collect cases.

Subspecialty Fellows Planning for their 2016 ABOG General Oral Board Exam

You can now sit for your general oral boards anytime during your fellowship. Furthermore, you can only take the general oral boards once during your fellowship. If you somehow neglected to collect cases in your off-specialty from your chief year, begin to piece meal together how to gather those cases from your residency institution. GYN Oncologists, REI and Urogynecologists will need an OB list and MFMs need a GYN list. If you take call for these off services, you can use those cases.

Test Taking Tips
You’re almost halfway through your case list collections. I’m not worried at all about your subspecialty cases, rather your off-specialty cases. Do you even have them? If you do, then well done! If not, begin figuring out how you’re going to get them. Ideally, see if you can get some cases that you actually manage, as in the present, not past, tense. See if you can take call or staff the residents on your off-specialty. If that’s not possible start coordinating with your past residency to recapture those cases.

ABOG Maintenance of Certification

Part II Lifelong Learning

ALL 45 articles are due by December 15th.   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.

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 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

For those of you in MOC Year 6, you must register by November 15th and pass a written exam by December 15th. We have three products to help you prepare for and pass your written exam. For those of you who have always tapped into a review course as you prepare for your board certifying exams, you’ll take great comfort in our five day November 18-22 Review Course. This is not the same type of review course as in 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.

Since 2009, our Annual MOC Manuals 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 for you we have a one day MOC Written Exam Workshop on November 17th in Charlotte, NC. This provides that 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 absolutely can’t, then purchasing the MOC Written Exam Workshop Binder is the next best thing.

We must be doing something right, as so far 100% of those attending the MOC Workshop and/or the course have passed!

Oh, just in case you think you’re coasting after you pass your written exam, think again. You still have to read the 2015 articles. No rest for the weary!

Test Taking Tip
You must pass the exam by December 15th, and you get a total of five attempts. SIGN UP FOR THE EXAM NOW for the day after our November review course.
The written exam is on the computer. Many of you have never taken an exam on the computer and it’s not the same as a beloved written book. Your old friend, the pencil, is obsolete. Do not wait until the day of the exam to discover this.  Go to www.pearsonvue.com/abog ahead of time for a tutorial to familiarize yourself with how to take an exam on the computer. If you’re still not one to be ill-prepared, try out our computerized questions. Go to www.americasboardreview.com > Written Exam > Test Question Bank jolleytestprep.com/store > OB/GYN Diagnostic Tests. Many of the questions were based upon the MOC articles and are formatted like your exam. The best part is each has a narrative explanation of the answer, providing instant gratification.
Unlike most computer banks that require a 12 month subscription, the ABC bank is a pay-as-you-go. You may simply need only one bank of 105 questions to feel comfortable. It’s no coincidence that your exam is only 100 questions, too!
            

AOBOG Recertification Written Exam, 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 in either year 5 or 6 of the OCC cycle.

The exam is offered only once a year at the spring ACOOG conference. If you’re a generalist, it’s a walk in the park. If however, you have limited your practice (eg. GYN only, laborist, subspecialist, etc.) then it’s not a walk, but a triathlon. You’re going to need to train, so we suggest our November 18-22, 2015 Review Course for a comprehensive, exam-focused review.

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.

Tip
You can access the PPA modules through a link on the aobog.org website to the O-CAT website. Since these modules take some time to complete, it is highly recommended that you begin a module in the first or second year of your OCC 6 year cycle. You need 5 per 6 year cycle to maintain your certification.
 
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