December 2019 Tip of the Month

ABC's Dallas Mock Oral Faculty

Is your ABOG oral exam next week?  Our faculty arrives on Sunday the 2nd to help you fine-tune your articulation before your examination day. 

For ABOG 2019 ORAL Exam Candidates:

DECEMBER Exam Candidates. . .

Were you feeling blessed on Thanksgiving because it will finally be over? Well, ask and ye shall receive!

With you every step…

Test Taking Technique  

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 previous 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 you are getting a sure pass question correct. Envision your last answer just rolling off your shoulder and dropping onto the floor. When you gleefully skip out of the room, you will leave a heap of answers on the floor.

Remember, just 70%!

JANUARY and FEBRUARY Exam Candidates

Does it seem like the holidays will never end? Worse yet, are you thinking you’ll buckle down after the holidays? You must be disciplined and organized to stay on track during the holiday season. Promise yourself that just as you finish your last bite of Thanksgiving turkey, you’ll begin studying in earnest. Our Oral Exam Webinar archives are great to listen to other candidates articulate their answers to structured cases with feedback from our seasoned faculty. Make sure to budget both study time AND family time or Santa will leave you lumps of coal. Strengthen your strengths and review your review. Pull out your Test Topics Manual from the course. Now you know why they are yellow, as they are worth their weight in gold. Fill in the answers and voila! -you have condensed the 1400-page binder into 132 pages!

The #1 regret of exam takers is they wished they had done more Mock Orals. You have all kinds of resources to tap into - local and regional colleagues, 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 is 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.

Although it’s best to target your studying based on your mock oral performance, you can also learn from others. Our oral exam Frequently Asked Questions, provides a checklist of questions to anticipate for each topic.

A great way to pull it all together, or salvage what’s left if you procrastinated, is to take advantage of our Do or Die in Dallas service. Dr. Quinn Peeper – author of ABC’s FAQ manual for the oral exam, will help you ring in the New Year in Dallas from Sunday, January 12 to Wednesday, January 15, before your exam. The closing pitcher to end the oral exam season is Dr. Krishna Das. She’ll be in Dallas from Sunday, February 16th to Wednesday, February 19th. They will do whatever it takes to get you feeling confident walking into your exam. They 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. These spots fill very quickly, so call now to reserve yours.

With you every step 

Test Taking Technique  

The lead-in question is brief – just a few words or no more than a sentence. About half are immediately followed by three questions:        

What is your differential diagnosis? How would you work up the patient? How would you manage her? Everyone on the day of your exam is asked the same case; thus we’ve nicknamed it Case of the Day. This portion of the exam reflects the Board’s attempt to standardize the exam. The cases are straightforward management down the algorithm pathway. Remember, everybody will be asked the same questions as you. So work on developing a depth to your differential diagnoses; try to come up with at least three working diagnoses. Also, start with the most logical- when you hear hoofbeats, think of a horse before a zebra.  The next question, “How would you work her up?” is dependent on how you answered the first.

Our signature Sets of Structured Cases. They will impart that lovely deja vu feeling during your exam … ho hum. . . can’t you ask me something that I don’t know?

For ABOG 2020 ORAL Exam Candidates:

Yikes, 2020, the year of your exam. Want a reality check of what you’ve gotten yourself into? You cannot apply for the 2020 oral exam until February 24, 2020. However, if you wait this long to enter cases, you’re already EIGHT months behind. Remember, the collections started on July 1, 2019. You must now enter your cases through the ABOG portal. So, there’s no longer any excuse that you haven’t ordered your 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, you should have a file containing each patient’s H&P, operative notes, pathology reports, and discharge summaries. For OB patients, their file should contain their prenatal form, delivery notes, discharge summaries, and postpartum notes. Don’t make it complicated - just enter the cases based on your clinical and common sense. Rest assured, Dr. Das will facilitate our Case List Construction during our April 2020 review course. For those who need a complete step-by-step guide, order your copy of Dr. Das’ book, Pass Your Oral Ob/Gyn Board Exam, the first and best-selling guide on oral exam prep since 1998.

Case List Construction Tip

You should finish the year strong by having all your cases entered by December 31 … and yes, you should still be able to attend that New Year’s party. 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 37 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 not necessary, to fill all the categories. Remember, you can only apply up to 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. Finally, brace yourself for this one, but you do not need to study yet. No, that’s not a typo. If you feel so compelled, keep up with the Compendium, especially the updates in the back of the Green Journal. However, you will want to study initially based on your case list topics… and those are still evolving.

Subspecialty Fellows Sitting for their 2020 ABOG General Oral Board Exam

I have good news and bad news. Subspecialty fellows sitting for their general oral boards will be held to the same level of competence as the generalists. The good news is that the general oral boards are way easier than your subspecialty boards. It will require minimal work and your only preparation entails recapturing the generalist’s perspective of your specialty. The bah humbug news is that you will be required to have the same level of competence as the generalists in your off-specialty topics, too. This is actually good news, but you specialists know so much about your specialty that you have forgotten how to put on the brakes. Thus, you have this ridiculous notion that you have to relearn your off-specialty topics to this extreme level as well. Take this as a gift from Santa that all you need to know are the basics. Have your chief resident help you out and quiz you. With you every step…

Test Taking Technique  

Our signature Structured Cases are ideal for subspecialists for two reasons. Half of your exam is structured cases, so you’ll become very comfortable with this format. Additionally, the cases are grouped according to topic, so this is a fantastic study tool to fill in those gaps on your off-specialty topics.

Our How to Do What You Don’t Do is a great resource for those general procedures that you’ve now forgotten.


For AOBOG & ABOG 2020 WRITTEN (Computerized) Exam Candidates

The exam is in 5 and 6 months, respectively. For you ABOG folk, the final deadline to apply is December 18th along with your $2340 application and examination fee. No applications are accepted after December 18th. For those of you taking your AOBOG exam, the $1175 examination fee is due by February 28th. This year AOBOG has implemented a 30% late fee ($352.50 or $1527.50 total) for applications submitted after the first deadline. 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, it’s now time to develop a study plan. Begin by doing some soul searching to develop a realistic plan. Make sure to plan to take at least two days off in order to avoid burn out and start first with the MUST KNOW topics. Our Test Topics Manual is a good resource to show you the way. Although it’s helpful to plan the big picture for the whole year’s study schedule, plot only December with the specifics. You will need this as a starting point to get a better feel for how to better budget subsequent months’ study plans. Limit yourself to a clinical review and don’t forget to budget time for written questions on each topic. If this is at least your second attempt, you should have already implemented your study plan. If you have not done so, review the guidance above. By this time, you should have figured out realistically how to predict the time required to review a topic. Do more soul searching to develop a realistic plan through May.  If you have traditionally struggled with the written exam format, we strongly recommend our Test Taking Skills Online Course. In just 2 months you can perfect our CQRPE test taking methodology and test drive it on the January CREOG exam.

Test Taking Technique

Since 2010, ABOG no longer reports your score for the written board exam. So, unfortunately, the only resource to gauge your performance is the CREOG in-service-training exam. You need to dig out your past scores. If your standardized scores were > 210, especially during your chief year, you have an excellent chance of passing your board exam. If not, you must devise a plan to improve both your content and test-taking skills. So to put it quite blatantly, 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. The CREOG in-service-training exam is computer based. This is good since your board exam is also computerized. This will be good practice for the real thing. If you’re looking for computer-based exams, try our Written Questions Online.

You can do it….we can help!

Chief Residents Planning a Subspecialty Fellowship

I know you’re excited to matriculate into your beloved subspecialty, but it’s time to also strategize for your general oral exam. Subspecialty fellows are permitted to select a minimum of 20 applied 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 you hold onto that residency log! Refer to the ABOG Bulletin on 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 cases later. Also, the more categories you chose, the greater depth and breadth. Not only does this bode well for a first impression, but more importantly, assures that the examiner won’t run out of time choosing cases from your list. The holiday spirit is ruined if he gets to reload with his ammunition and make up hypothetical patients. For prospective cases, 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 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, even one year 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. Talk about bah humbug! Your greatest allies are your junior residents. If they can’t easily defend that case, then cease and desist and “go fish” for another.

For AOBOG 2020 Oral Exam Candidates

For those preparing for the April oral exam, you may have to forego holiday presents, as your $3275 application fee is due January 20th (or when the maximum is reached). New in 2020, AOBOG will decrease the number of stations from 4 to 3, increase the length of the exam from 55 minutes to 75 minutes, and eliminate the visual station. For those preparing for your spring exam, come to our April 1-5, 2020 Board Review Course. Did you know that our syllabus even highlights EACH core topic? Our course will provide a comprehensive review of those topics. We also have an evening session that puts each core topic under the microscope and painstakingly goes through potential exam topics.  Have you been wondering about the 4th station on the exam? For the April course registrants, we will give a FREE interactive on simulating the 4th station. We know you will want more. Plus for the poor souls that didn’t attend, try our product, cleverly called “4th Station” that will have 20 cases with visual images.

Test Taking Technique

ABC’s OMM for the OBGYN & OMT video is a great refresher before you sit for your oral exam. Our OMM question manual is designed specifically for our AOBOG candidates.

ABOG Maintenance of Certification (MOC)\ Part II: Lifelong Learning

ALL the 30 2019 articles are due December 16th, even for those of you who also took your written exam this year. 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. The holidays are rushed enough without having to also complete the articles while waiting in the shopping line. You don’t want Santa to stuff your stocking with a big fat late fee! 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 ALL in the MOC program

It’s time to pay to play. Your renewal for Part II or the articles for 2019 is due 15th. The list of journal articles for the first quarter should be out by mid-January.  Welcome and congratulations to those who just passed their November primary oral exam. You thought you would have a long-deserved coast and goof-off time since you worked so hard for your oral boards, right? Well, think again… no rest for the weary! You must enroll in the MOC program by January 2020. Come join the fun, as misery loves company.

Part III: Secure Written Exam

If you have not maintained at least an 86% average on your MOC articles and you about to enter MOC Year 6 in 2020, you must pass a written exam by December 16, 2020. Incredibly, you get FIVE attempts to pass the exam and can take it practically any day of the year!  Finally, the Board has acknowledged that an emphasis will be placed on both the Compendium and the articles. Come to our April 1-5, 2020 Board Review Course for fun!  This is not the same type of review course from 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 everyday practice tips, too.

You can do it … we can help!

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.

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 

The strategy is in choosing which combination of selectives

will optimize your chances of passing. Call 877-222-6249 to arrange a private consult with Dr. Adelowo to help you in choosing your exam selectives.

AOBOG Osteopathic Continuous Certification in Obstetrics & Gynecology (OCC)

Looking for Category I CME hours?  Our five day April 1-5 Board Review Course is not the same type of review course from the past. Just as you’ve evolved and practice evidence-based medicine, our course is designed for the adult learner and all lectures follow the national ACOG guidelines. Heck, you’ll walk away with loads of everyday practice tips, too.

Additionally, you must complete 2 Practice Performance Assessments (PPA) and/or Quality Improvements (QI) in each 6-year OCC cycle. These 2 PPAs must be completed by September 15th of the year your certificate expires.

 Test Taking Tips

AOBOG lists that exam topics may include, but are not limited to, 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.

Test Taking Tips

Are you having a déjà vu feeling after reviewing the above list? You should, as these include those blasted core topics that you needed for your oral exam!

For all Canadian Royal College Examination

It’s soon the Holiday and you will probably want to spoil your loved ones. Do not forget to consider the upcoming cost. We recommend registering and sending payment for your examination in December. The final deadline is January 13th, 2020 ($4,415) but as mentioned on their website, it is better to not wait until the last minute. Also, don’t forget the Early bird registration for the Canadian Obstetrics and Gynecology Review Program (previously known as “Making a Mark”). Most candidates taking the examination go to the review session, which is not intended to be a full review of the examination content, but more of a consolidation and assessment of your knowledge, as well as a practice, to take the Canadian oral OSCE examination. Early bird registration is December 13, 2019 (save $200). Otherwise, the cost of the review program is $1450. ( You should, at the same time, make a reservation at the BMO institute of learning (where the course is held) for your room, as there are a limited number of rooms available. You can find the information on the website. Finally, you will be sent a notice of registration via email once the Royal College has ruled you eligible to take the exams. If you have not received a notice of registration within 15 days, contact the Royal College at 613-730-6278; toll-free 1-800-668-3740 ext. 278 or 419.

For MFM, FPMRS & REI 2020 oral exam candidates

This is the last month for case collection. You can do it!! Get those categories filled in, and start circulating your list to mentors and colleagues for their input. 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. That way you have plenty of time to edit the list before the February 3rd  due date. For those planning on taking the exam in 2021, case list collection starts for you in January 2020, so now is a good time to familiarize yourself with the categories and structure of the list so you can hit the ground running.  The big day in Dallas is 4 months away. Do you have a study schedule yet?


As you start organizing your study time, consider using the case list topics as an outline for your studying. Organizing into discrete topics is a great way to minimize an overwhelming task in many cases. There have been quite a few recent Urogynecology updates on ACOG and the MOC articles are also good for brushing up on current interest subjects.

For those that attended our live 3-Day review course in Charlotte, NC, you should have your binder to review those high yield topics that we covered. Continue using those as important study resource.

For those that could not make the Live Course, all hope is not lost, You still have the opportunity to join us for our Webinar series that will cover high wield topics in a structured case interactive format which you can join in on from the comfort of your home and get the opportunity to get on the hot seat to practice.

Register for our 2020 FPMRS webinar.

The AUGS website has some nice refresher lectures on statistics and topics that many people struggle with such as neurourology and embryology.

MFM Tip:

As you start organizing your study time, consider using the case list topics as an outline for your studying. Organizing into discrete topics is a great way to minimize an overwhelming task in many cases. Is there a textbook you like that will be a good resource for maternal medical complications? What about fetal complications? Would the ACOG practice bulletins or committee opinions be a helpful resource for some of these topics? The SMFM Fellow lecture series or Expert Series of documents? Once you have a list of resources, you can start thinking about how you want to divide your time between all of these to round out your review of the important topics in MFM. “Read everything” isn’t an achievable goal, but a concrete list of chapters and other sources is something you can divide over the coming months and tackle one step at a time. You’ve got this!

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