January 2016 Tip of the Month

Marc Jean-Gilles, DO, FACOOG, FACOG

ABC Oral Exam Webinar Faculty 

Dr. Jean-Gilles obtained a BS in Biologic Sciences from SUNY and then his DO from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his OB/GYN residency at Temple University.  Dr. Jean-Gilles is double boarded by ABOG and AOBOG! Dr. Jean-Gilles and Dr. Diane Evans will be our lecturers for our Oral Exam Webinar which starts in February and will cover ten core topics in just three months.

ABOG 2015 ORAL Exam Candidates

JANUARY Exam Candidates

The holidays are finally over. You’ve known you were the last group since July, and you thought January would never get here. Well, it’s here! You can sure identify with your patients who go into labor. Be careful what you wish for, right?

The #1 regret of exam takers is that they wished they had done more mock orals. You have all kinds of resources to tap into - local and regional colleagues, as well as 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 are 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.

A great way to pull it all together (or salvage what’s left if you’ve procrastinated) is to take advantage of our Do or Die in Dallas service. When we say, “We’re with you every step”, we mean that literally. Dr. Quinn Peeper will be right there in Dallas the week of your exam. He will do whatever it takes to get YOU feeling confident just before your test. It’s too late and certainly not helpful to hide within a group or camp just days before your test. Whereas examining is a team effort; unfortunately, being examined is solo.  We 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. You need to eat, drink and sleep OB/GYN and set the stage for your big day.

 With you every step …

Test Taking Technique  

About half of the Structured Cases’ stem questions are followed by three questions:
What is your differential diagnosis?
How would you work up the patient?
How would you manage her?
At the end of each case is “Supplemental Questions by Examiner.”
You will start with the Structured Cases and there is no longer a chime signaling the half way mark to transition to the case list. 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 succession. 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 chances of getting a sure pass question correct.
Remember, just 70%.

You can do it, we can help.

ABOG 2016 ORAL Exam Candidates

Happy New Year! The Chinese calendar says 2016 is the year of the exam. Make a resolution to not procrastinate preparing for your exam. Starting February 1st, you can apply for your exam at www.abog.org. Your application and the application fee of $840 are due by March 15th. If you delay, you will incur stiff late fees.

By now, you should have a system for organizing your data for the case list. For all GYN patients, collect the 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.

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 40 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 unnecessary, to fill all 40 categories. Remember, you can only apply 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 tickler file for OB, GYN, and Office.

Take a stab at entering the data on the case list forms - just use your common sense. Rest assured, we are offering our signature Case List Construction Workshop on April 12th. 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. You’ve been collecting cases since the summer. It’s cold outside and you’ve nothing better to do, so start the good habit today of collecting and entering cases on a weekly basis at a minimum.

If the weather outside is frightful, our Oral Exam Webinar is delightful. It starts in February and will cover ten core topics in just three months. Drs. Diane Evans and Marc Jean-Giles will spend one to two hours weekly on each topic and show you exactly how to prepare for an oral exam. They’ll even give you a chance to practice the case of the day format live. It will catapult your studying and leave no stones unturned in preparing for additional topics.

If you’re really anal, come to our April 13-17 Board Review Course. The advantage of starting in the spring is that you have a good idea of the topics on your case list. You don’t have to do any heavy duty studying until August, as your only priority from May to August 1st is to get that case list done and to design your strategy. However, once August 1st hits...ee gads! -there is precious little time to study if your exam is the first month (November). Thus, coming to a review course in the spring greatly facilitates exploding out of the starting block.

Case list Construction Tip

One of the most common mistakes is “column confusion” on the Office and Obstetrics case list. On the Obstetrics case list, the columns most confused are “Complications of Antepartum, Complications of Delivery or Postpartum, and Operative Procedures and/or Treatment”. Complications up to and including labor should go in the Antepartum column. Anything that happens in labor and postpartum should then go in the Complications of Delivery or Postpartum, including disorders of protracted labor, instrumented deliveries, shoulder dystocia, retained placenta, etc. On the Office Practice case list, the columns most confused are the “Diagnostic Procedures, Treatment, and Results” columns. The Results column is intended to be the result of your treatment, NOT the results of your procedures. Put the results of your procedures in parenthesis after the procedure IN the Diagnostic Procedure column.
For example:







(ECC –benign margins Ectocx – CIN 3)


CIS with clear


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. Therefore, 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 at all about the office patients, 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, two years 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. Your greatest allies are your junior residents. If they can’t easily defend the case, cease and desist and “go fish” for another.

Subspecialty Fellows Planning for their 2016 ABOG General Oral Board Exam

You can now sit for your general oral boards anytime during your fellowship. Unfortunately it’s true -if you don’t use it, you lose it, so try to con your fellowship director into letting you take your exam your first year.

 If you neglected to collect cases in your off specialty from your chief year, begin to piece meal 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 currently have to take call for these off services, you can use those cases.

If you are retrospectively collecting cases, go with your comfort zone. Dang, how could you have forgotten so much in such a short time? Go with the bread-and-butter cases. Remember this is your general boards. We recommend you chose those cases that reflect high-yield topics. Our Test Topics Manual and Pass Your Oral Ob/Gyn Board Exam by Dr. Das are excellent step-by-step guides. 

Our review course is ideal for sub-specialists. It’s too risky to wait until a few months before your exam, so come to our April 13-17 Board Review Course. For the past five years, we’ve covered 99% of exam topics! We’ll spoon feed you on your off-specialty topics and you will not need to go beyond your course binder.

For AOBOG & ABOG 2016 WRITTEN Exam Candidates

The ABOG June 27th, 2016 exam is now closed. Have you reserved your Pearson-Vue testing center yet? The AOBOG April 30th, 2016 exam application is due February 23rd (March 9th if you want to pay a penalty late fee). The exam is in five and six months, so it’s “over the hump” time. Your free time to study will be usurped by end of year stuff as you finish your residency. Therefore, you must take advantage of JANUARY and FEBRUARY to “kick butt” and crank out a bunch of topics on your study plan.

You must be candid as to what you can/cannot accomplish on your study plan. If you haven’t already finished, prioritize those MUST KNOW topics. Our Test Topics Manual is a great resource to show you the way, as it covers 90% of the exam topics.  Limit yourself to a clinical review and don’t forget to budget time for written questions on each topic.

We strongly advise taking a review course; our next course is April 13-17, 2016. Obviously we’re a bit biased, as we feel we have the ideal course; however, you should look for the following features. 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 their lectures should be based on ACOG clinical guidelines. The faculty especially needs to be knowledgeable in written exams. Every ABC lecture concludes with written questions.

For those who have traditionally struggled with written exams, or if you have failed the written board exam, you cannot continue with modus operandi. It didn’t work before, so why set yourself up for the same outcome? We have found that knowledge is rarely the problem. You couldn’t have made it this far is that was the case. It’s typically a processing problem. The Jolley’s have a brilliantly simply and effective PROCESS with proven success. They offer their Test Taking Skills Workshop on April 14th in conjunction with our April course.

Test Taking Technique

ABOG set a precedent in 2010 by not relinquishing the score, so candidates received just a pass or fail grade. This is unfortunate, as one didn’t know if they missed passing by one point or twenty points. Obviously, this would greatly influence one’s strategy for the next go around.
Thus, the only parameter to gauge or predict Board exam performance is the CREOG in-service-training exam. Until now, there has been no incentive to track their correlation, especially since the questions aren’t the most representative in format like those on your board exam.
However, now you MUST take them seriously, especially if you are a Chief resident. They are at the end of this month. Unfortunately, you don’t get your results until March, but they may be the perfect reality check to motivate you to get crackin’. Check your past scores. The magic # is > 200.


AOBOG 2016 ORAL Exam Candidates

Applications for the April 29th and 30th, 2016 are closed. Brace yourself for the $3250 examination fee which is due by February 1st. Hurry now to try and get your spot for the September 30th and October 1st exam.

We’ve got a great way to start out the New Year. Drs. Diane Evans, DO and Marc Jean-Giles, DO start our Oral Exam Webinar on February 1st. We guarantee to get through the new core topics by the April test dates. For every month of registration, you will receive a FREE ½ hour telephone mock oral exam! Since its debut in 2011, we’ve been batting a 99% pass rate for webinar attendees.

Our April 13-17 Board Review Course is perfect for a streamlined exam focused review just weeks before your exam. Did you know our syllabus even highlights the core topics? The course is also an excellent opportunity for face-to-face private Mock Oral Exams.

Test Taking Technique

Remember this is an oral exam, so you must practice articulating out loud. Our Structured Cases CDs eerily simulates the exam topics and setting. They not only give you the format, but more importantly, the answers, so you can learn the expected depth and breadth of your answers. They are so easy to conduct and your mock oral examiner doesn’t even need medical knowledge. We advise against using your mother as an examiner, because once she learns the format, she’ll be torturing you all the time with her offers to “help.”


ABOG Maintenance of Certification (MOC)

Part II: Lifelong Learning

It’s time to pay to play. Your renewal fee of $295 for Part II for Annual Board Certification is due with your application.  You must apply every year and access to the MOC assignments will not be allowed until your application and fee are received. The list of journal articles for the first quarter should be out mid-January. Make a New Year’s resolution to finish the first quarter just before you file your taxes in April.

Part III: Secure Written Exam

For those of you in MOC Year 6, you must pass a written exam by December 15th, 2016. Since the exam started two years ago, we are batting a 100% pass rate for those who attend both our review course and one-day MOC workshop! We’re so confident that you too will pass, that we’ll refund your course registration fee if you don’t. Our next course is April 13-17 and the workshop is the day before on April 12 – both in Charlotte, NC. Since you are an adult learner, we strongly recommend you take your exam the DAY AFTER or at the latest, one week after the course!

Test Taking Tip

RELAX, the test 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
  Generalists: Selective Exam A & B (50 questions)
  1. Obstetrics and Gynecology and Office Practice & Women’s Health
  2. Obstetrics only
  3. Gynecology only
  4. Office Practice and Women’s Health only
  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 your selectives. The Board gives an itemization of the exam topics. Believe or not, but it is the same list for the primary written exam and the oral exam case list categories, although the focus fortunately 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 Written Exam Osteopathic Continuous Certification in Obstetrics & Gynecology (OCC)

If you want to take the April, 2016 exam, you can still register by February 1st, but you also need to send your $1200 application and exam fee. Unfortunately, the exam is now offered only once a year at the spring ACOOG conference. You can take it as early as year four of the six year cycle.

This exam is usually a piece of cake; that is, if you are a generalist. If you’re a specialist, then it’s tough because it includes ALL of OB/GYN. We strongly recommend that you consider getting our DVD course recordings to refresh you on those off topics.

Test Taking Technique

On the AOBOG website, aobog.org, they even give you a list of test topics! They include, but are not limited to, the following:

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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