August 2016 Tip of the Month

Amos Adelowo, MD, MPH, FACOG
ABC's FPMRS Course Director 

Dr. Adelowo completed his OB/GYN residency at the University of Massachusetts, followed by his fellowship in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School. Currently, Dr. Adelowo is in private practice and is also the Division Director of FPMRS at both the Reliant Medical Group and the Southborough Medical Group in Worcester, PA and also of the MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham, MA.

Dr. Adelowo knows firsthand what ABC has to offer, as he attended ABC in preparation for his general boards. Thus, he recognized the need for oral exam preparation for the newly boarded FPMRS specialty. ABC is the first in the country to offer a FPMRS Oral Exam Webinar and Dr. Adelowo is the Course Director.

ABC's has a number of products and services in preparation for the subspecialty FPMRS oral exam:  Oral Exam Webinar, Annual MOC manual, mock orals, thesis and case list reviews.

For ABOG 2016 Certifying (ORAL) Exam Candidates

If you met the August 1st 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 15th 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 particularly knowledgeable in the oral exam process and content and also provide Mock Oral Exams and Case List Reviews. Our courses are September 14-18 and November 16-20.
Ideally, complement the content covered at the review course with both an Oral Exam Workshop 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 our courses, so September 13 and November 15, respectively.
Half of your test is defending your case list. Send your case list NOW to your local/regional consultants or colleagues for recommendations in DEFENDING your case list:  

Case List Component          



MFM, generalist


GYN ONC, Urogyn, generalist


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. We are the only course in the country to offer dialogue with the reviewer so you can ask questions, clarify cases, etc.

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.

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. We also have available a summary of ALL the Compendium articles.

Subspecialty Fellows Sitting for their 2016 ABOG General Certifying (Oral) Board Exam

Now that your case list has been turned in, you recognize how much you have forgotten 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 14-18 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 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.… with you every step

For AOBOG 2016 ORAL Exam Candidates

Applications for the 2016 fall exam are now closed. Applications for the April, 2017 exam are now available. The application fee of $750 and examination fee of $3275 are both due by December 1, 2016.
For those preparing for your September 30 and October 1, 2016 exam, we have a September 14-18 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!

Test Taking Tips:
If you’re taking your exam in September or October, by now you should have completed your extensive review of EACH core topic. Use the following checklist for each core topic, as the examiners will push you to the nth degree.
General Obstetrics and Gynecology:
Office Based
Hospital Based
Maternity Based
Gynecologic Oncology:
Neoplasms of the Vulva, Vagina, Cervix, Uterus, Fallopian tubes, Ovaries and those associated with Pregnancy
Female Medicine and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery:
Urinary Stress Incontinence/Genital Prolapse
Sexual Dysfunction/Pain Syndromes
Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility:
Contraception Management
Ultrasonography of the Female Pelvis
Workup and Treatment of the Infertile Couple
Maternal Fetal Medicine:
Evaluation of the High Risk Pregnancy
Early Screening Tests and Diagnosis
Interventions available during Pregnancy
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 a DO and for DOs. She puts each of the core topics under the microscope. Since 2011, all but one who has participated in her webinar has passed their exam. Partner the webinar with the course, and you’ve got the ultimate preparation.

For ABOG 2017 Certifying (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 2017 oral exam until February, 2017. 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 a Case List Construction Workshop during our April, 2017 review course. 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 2017.
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.     

For ABOG Qualifying Computer-Based and AOBOG 2017 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, 2017. Better yet, the $1175 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 16-20 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, who have not averaged 86% or higher on your articles, 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 14-18 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 2011 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.
Are 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 Questions Manuals provide an additional 1000+ questions, plus a narrative explanation for each answer, along with references. 
Oh, just in case you think you’re coasting after you pass your written exam, think again. You still have to read the 2016 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 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 many 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 of categories for the primary written exam and the oral exam case list; 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
…with you every step…

AOBOG Recertification Written Exam, Osteopathic Continuous Certification in Obstetrics & Gynecology (OCC)

The OCC written exam is offered only once annually at the spring ACOOG clinical meeting; the next being March 28, 2017, in Palm Springs, CA. Although the examination can be taken during the last two years of the OCC cycle, you must pass the written exam by the end of your six-year cycle. Come to one of our fall courses - either September 14-18 or November 16-20 to jump start your studying.
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.  Example is next year (2017) is 4 PPA's with one being the effective communication module.  Beginning in 2018 and forward, it is 5 PPA's, including the mandatory one. 
All required PPA's must be completed by September 15th of the year of recertification.

You can do it, we can help.

Test Taking Tip:
To access the PPAs, go to 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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