February 2020 Tip of the Month

ABOG & AOBOG 2019 WRITTEN Exam Candidates

Are you still reeling from the CREOG in-service training exam? Are you regretting that you didn’t take it seriously? Well, how’s this for a reality check? ABOG no longer reports your score; it’s only pass or fail. Thus, the ONLY predictor of your passing your written boards is your CREOG score!

We strongly advise taking a BOARD prep course, not just a review course, our April 1-5 course, is an exam focused review. In just five days, we’ll cover 90% of the exam topics. Our faculty base their lectures on ACOG clinical guidelines. Most importantly, every lecture concludes with written exam questions, which are compiled into a handy dandy packet for later testing and reinforcement.

For those who have traditionally struggled with written exams, failed the written board exam, or did not score at least 200 on your CREOG in-service exam, you cannot continue your 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 if that were the case. It’s typically a processing problem. Our Online Taking Skills Course will give you an evidence-based proven methodology. Adopting this technique improves CREOG scores on average 1 standard deviation! This may be just what you need to boost you over to a pass for your board exam. In addition, we offer performance reports. Our experienced ABC faculty will evaluate your progress and send you specific ways to stay on track. The first 3 reports (correspondence will be via email) are $25 each, then thereafter FREE.

Looking for written questions? Our Written Questions Manuals consist of 1400+ questions that are organized by the major exam subjects: OB, GYN Surgery, Office, REI, GYN Oncology, FPM & Ethics. Even sweeter, they are further organized by subtopics, so you can beeline to questions to immediately check your subject review. No more wasted hours of sifting through sources with random questions! Available in print form or online by subscription.

Test Taking Technique:
You pretty much have to know everything about OB/GYN. However, for you “lists folk,” both of the boards give a breakdown of the categories.
You ABOG folk go to the 2020 Specialty Qualifying Bulletin via abog.org for a list of topics covered on the exam. They break it down by OB, GYN, Office Practice/Preventative/Primary Care, and Cross Content areas. Although the examples in parentheses are not meant to be all-inclusive, you would be a fool to not know them.      
You AOBOG folk go to aobog.org and click on “Written Exam Content Outline”.  Yours are broken down into GYN, GYN ONC, REI, FPM, OB and MFM. Notice you don’t have Cross Content topics.
But hey, did we mention we cover 90% of exam topics in just five days at our course?

ABOG 2020 ORAL Exam Candidates

You can finally officially apply online for the 2020 oral exam on February 24th at www.abog.org. Your application and the application fee of $840 are both due by April 3rd. Don’t risk overlooking this menial, but necessary, administrative task. If you delay, you will incur stiff late fees starting April 4th.

Remember that case list collections started JULY 1, 2019 or seven months ago!  So now you’re over the hump and only FIVE MONTHS LEFT to complete your collection of cases. In 2019, you must enter your cases online only through the ABOG portal.

By this time, you must be in a routine for entering your cases. ABC recommends that you keep a stash of case list forms in your surgery and L&D locker. Right after you dictate your operative or delivery notes, complete the case list form. Once a week, enter this data into ABOG software. Don’t fret about details of how to enter the data. For now, just use your clinical sense. You’ll change your mind at least a half dozen times before it’s all said and done.

You should now have three binders for each of the three sections - OB, GYN, and Office. For each GYN patient, compile their case list sheet, H&P, operative notes, pathology report and discharge summary. For all OB patients, keep a file of the prenatal forms, delivery notes, discharge summaries, and postpartum notes. For the office patients, file the case list sheet, appropriate copies of the office visit(s) and supporting labs, imaging studies, etc. By now, you should have at least half of the 40 office categories collected. Your goal is to have ¾ of the cases collected by March.

In the past, many grumbled about the ABOG case list software. Evidently, ABOG heard and now requires you to enter the cases online. It’s nice that you can enter your cases through any device with an internet connection. However, you still must have a well-constructed list and their guidelines are still woefully sparse. Don’t fret – come to our one day Case List Construction Workshop offered March 31st, the day before the review course.  We’ll show you how to raise your case list head and shoulders above the other candidates. For those who are OCD, order your copy of the Pass Your Oral Ob/Gyn Board Exam by Dr. Das for a complete step-by-step guide.

If the weather outside is frightful, then our Oral Exam Webinar Archives are delightful. Our faculty covers high yield topics and show you exactly how to prepare for an oral exam. They are strategically divided into OB, GYN, and Oncology/Urogynecology. This webinar archive series will catapult your studying and leave no stones unturned for preparing for additional topics.

If you’re really anal, come to our March 31 – April 5 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 design your strategy. However, once August 1st hits, eee gads! There is precious little time to study if your exam is the first month in November. Thus, coming to a review course in the spring greatly facilitates exploding out of the starting blocks.

Case List Construction Tip:
A patient can only be counted ONCE on your case list, but how do you enter her if she had more than one surgery or hospitalization in the same year of collections? ABOG does not give you any guidance. We recommend that you list her once but separate the two cases by a full blank space or line. For example, let’s say you did an endometrial ablation for heavy menstrual bleeding in July. However, 9 months later, she is still plagued with AUB and you perform a hysterectomy

Pt. #  





Heavy menstrual bleeding

refractory to OCPs, NSAIDs

Hysteroscopic D&C

Global endometrial ablation

Endometrium – proliferative



Heavy menstrual bleeding, failed Endometrial ablation

VH, salpingectomy

Uterus (200gms)


Cervix - benign

For those of you who are requesting, “just tell me what to do!”, we suggest our Ultimate Oral Exam Package.  It includes our 5-day review course, Case List Workshop (the day prior to April review course) Oral Exam Workshop (day prior to Sept or Nov review course, Comprehensive Case List Review Deposit, Set of 85 Structured Cases (streaming), 3 private 1/2 hr. telephone mock orals exams conducted by an ABC faculty member and finally a one-hour session in Dallas as a dress rehearsal before your big day.

AOBOG Oral Exam Candidates 

The April exam is closed (deadline changed to January 20th)Applications for the September 2020 exam, along with the $3275 fee, are available online March 1st.  Make sure you go online March 1 because the number of candidates is limited, and spots fill up quickly.

If you want to officially launch your preparation for your fall exam or a last-minute refresher before the spring exam, it’s time to register for a review course. OuApril 1-5 BOARD review course is perfect for a streamlined exam-focused review. Did you know our syllabus even highlights the core topics? Each core topic is just an umbrella for many other spin-off topics.  Not only will we cover 95% of your test topics, but we also have the faculty skilled in giving you Mock Oral Exams. Since 2011, 99% of our board coarse attendees passed their AOBOG oral exam. All agreed our signature Structured Cases closely simulate the exam content and conduct and were instrumental in their passing.

Another exam prep option is one of our Home Study Packages that includes over 44 hrs of course lectures and strategy videos created just for the AOBOG oral exam candidate. We include mock orals with DO practitioners and structured cases to round out the packages. 

Test Taking Technique:
This is an oral exam. You can study more, but if you can’t persuasively articulate, all that work is for naught. Our Osteopathic Oral Board Exam Webinar Archives, designed by our Osteopathic Facultygoes through EACH of the core topics. It also contains structures cases throughout that are answered by past registrants and faculty providing feedback.

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 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 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.

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 that case, discard it and “go fish” for another.

Test Taking Technique:
For many candidates, Oncology is a love/hate relationship. Commonly, many don’t even have any oncology on their GYN case list, since most generalists refer the patient to the GYN oncologist upon the diagnosis, or even suspicion, of cancer. Nonetheless, you will be held accountable for oncology on your oral exam.
As a resident, oncology is practically second nature for you.  Make sure to choose some oncology cases for your case list if you will be using your chief log for your GYN case list. Just go with the bread and butter cancers, such as ovarian, uterine and cervical cancers. You’ll be glad you did, as it will be easier to retain or relearn these topics two or more years from now.

Subspecialty Fellows Planning for their 2020 ABOG General Oral Board Exam

You knew it was too good to be true. Just like heartburn, those non-specialty subjects that you gleefully suppressed have come back to haunt you. You can only take the general oral boards once during your fellowship, so strategize carefully to see which year will best set you up for success.

If you neglected to collect cases in your off specialty from your chief year, you must get back to your residency institution to gather those cases. GYN Oncologists, REI and Urogynecologists will need an OB list and MFMs will need a GYN list. If you currently have to take call for these off services, you can use those cases. Yes, it’s true . . . if you don’t use it, you lose it. So we suggest you take the exam right away or start collecting cases the first year of your fellowship.

If you are retrospectively collecting cases, go with your comfort zone. Dang, how could you have forgotten so much in such a short time? Unfortunately, it’s true . . . if you don’t use it, you lose it. 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 the Pass Your Oral Ob/Gyn Board Exam by Dr. Das offers excellent step-by-step guidance.

ABOG Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Part II

Time to pay to play. Your renewal fee of $275 for Part II or Annual Board Certification is due with your application, which became available January 7th.  You must apply every year, let me repeat that. . . 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 came out mid-January. Make a New Year’s resolution to finish the first quarter before you file your taxes in April.

Re-write?  For those of you in MOC Year 6, if you did not average at least 86% on the last five years of your articles, then you must pass a written exam by December 15th, 2020. RELAX, it’s only 100 questions you answer two books of fifty questions. You get to choose your “selectives” for each exam.

Selective Exam A (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

 Selective Exam 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

Welcome and congratulations to those who just passed their oral exam. Thought you could finally rest? Well, think again!! New diplomats must enter and start the MOC process by January 2020.

Test Taking Tips:
For those of you in MOC Year 6, you can take the exam anytime starting January 1st. For you generalists who have truly read (not skimmed) the MOC articles, we recommend you take the exam right away. Heck, if you pass, you get to prop your feet up and chill for the rest of the year. Well, sort of . . . you still have to complete the 2019 articles.
Speaking of time savings, come to our April 1-5 review course for a comprehensive review. We even offer at least 44 Category I credit hours.

AOBOG Osteopathic Continuous Certification
in Obstetrics & Gynecology (OCC) Written exam

For those in practice, you can breathe a sigh of relief as AOBOG has retired the OCC exam. They have switched to reading articles sent to you via email and then require you to answer timed questions. For more information on the Advanced Real-time Certification (ARC) go to the AOBOG website.  Unfortunately, if you hold an inactive/expired certificate you will still have to take the online 100 multiple choice exam.

The requirement for OCC Component 4 - Practice Performance Assessment and Improvement (PPA) is now decreased to a total of 2 PPA modules (instead of the previous 5 PPA modules). The due date to complete your PPA modules remains September 15th of the year your certificate expires. Fortunately, you do not have to have your PPA modules completed before you can sit for the OCC Exam.  

Royal Canadian College 2020 Exam Candidates

This month is the Canadian Obstetrics and Gynecology Review Program (http://obgynreview.ca/ ).  Most (if not all!) candidates taking the Canadian examination go to that session, February 7-9, 2020, where you will have the opportunity to assess your knowledge through several multiple-choice questions using touchpad technology and practice taking OSCEs with a minimum of 5 stations of different cases.

In February you should also start to be looking at planning your trip to Ottawa for the Oral examination. Depending on where you live, give yourself A LOT of time to get there and be ready and rested prior to the examination. Start looking at airfare and also, don’t forget to look at accommodation, taxi, car rental if needed, etc. 

Test Taking Tips:
For the MCQ portion of your exam, the ABC Written Question Manuals are a great source. They cover OB, REI, Oncology, FPM, GYN and Office Practice.


MFM 2020 ORAL Exam Candidates

It’s February! Take a deep breath – your list has been submitted. Excellent work!  Now it’s time to really crack down and study.  Do you have a study plan yet? Take the next two months to fill in any gaps in your knowledge and reinforce your strengths. Although your case list is a great source of topics to study from, and you should know the details about every diagnosis and treatment you have listed there, remember that there are several cases of the day that will be spanning all sorts of topics which may not show up on your list.

Our  MFM Oral Exam Webinar starts Feb. 19th and perfectly timed for your April exam!  Dr. Stephanie Martin kicks on the first session on  Study Design, key stats and an overview of how and what to study. 

Test Taking Technique:   
This is an ORAL exam, so get used to talking out loud (our webinar will give you lots of practice). You need to be ready to defend your thesis by 1) articulating the hypothesis, 2) study design, 3) statistics choices, 4) limitations and results. Also, be prepared to explain how to redesign your study.

 FPMRS 2020 ORAL Exam Candidates

Congratulations on submitting your case list! If there is an issue at all, ABOG will be contacting you shortly. Don’t panic if more information or reformatting is needed. They will give you a few days to regroup without a late fee charged. 

Next on to the bulk of your studying.  The ABOG study guide gives a nice outline to start from, and if you haven’t yet, start organizing reading material into categories such as urinary and fecal incontinence, prolapse, pain syndromes, sexual dysfunction.  Include reading lists from ACOG publications, up to date or doximity reviews, and textbooks.  Also, it is not too late to sign up for our Oral Exam Webinar which starts February 20th. All webinars are archived for our candidates so if you’ve missed a few, catching up is simple. Each is an hour in length and all lectures are case-based reviews of all the most important topics.  Being able to participate in live conversations gives a slightly more relaxed mock oral feel as well as the ability to hear your colleague's approaches to cases to further develop more concise and professional answers.

Most importantly, now is the time to start treating yourself with care.  Studying balanced with regular life events, kids, work, etc. is highly stressful. Make sure you make a little downtime for yourself. A rested candidate is always going to think more critically than a frazzled one.

Test Taking Tips
The #1 regret of past candidates is that they wished they had done more mock oral exams. We suggest you start about 6 weeks before your exam. Certainly, tap into your local colleagues and past academicians.  However, you need to quickly rev up to those who can simulate the exam. Give ABC a call for a telephone mock oral with one of our FPM faculty. 

REI 2020 ORAL Exam Candidates

Your case list has been submitted, congratulations! Take a moment to breathe and re-focus yourself.  Now is the time to start studying. Have you developed a study plan?  Sign up our Oral Exam Webinar, which starts February 20th.  Each 1 hr session will tackle those high-yield structured cases with candidates answering followed by faculty feedback.  Each session is recorded and accessible for listening within 24 hours. 

Test Taking Tips:
Get a head start with ABC’s REI’s Structured Cases. These cases will be exceptionally valuable for you as you become familiar with, and ultimately perfect this mode of the exam, as well as to assess your knowledge of a specific topic.


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