January 2023 Tip of the Month

ABOG 2023 Certifying Exam Candidates

Happy New Year! Make a resolution- do not procrastinate preparing for your exam. Starting March 1st, you can apply for your exam at www.abog.org. Your application and the application fee of $940 are due by April 12th. If you delay, you will incur stiff late fees. By now, you should have a system for organizing your data for the case list. Collect the H&Ps, operative notes, pathology reports, and discharge summaries for all GYN patients. 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 37 categories. Remember, you can only apply two patients per category. Just keep a tickler file for OB, GYN, and Office. Take a stab at entering the data on the case list forms. Rest assured- we are offering our Virtual April 18-24 Board Review Course, which includes a Case List Construction Workshop on the 18th (one day before the 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 there is little time to study if your exam is the first month in October. 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 confusing 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 confusing 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:
ASCUS Pap, +HPV Colposcopy(ECC –benign margins Ectocx – CIN 3) LEEP 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 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 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 2023 ABOG General Certifying Board Exam

You can now sit for your general certifying boards anytime during your fellowship. Unfortunately, it’s true -if you don’t use it, you lose it, so try to persuade your fellowship director into letting you take your exam in your first year. If you neglected to collect cases in your off specialty from your chief year, begin to piecemeal 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 must take calls 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 board. We recommend you chose those cases that reflect high-yield topics. Our Test Topics Manual is an excellent step-by-step guide. Our review course is ideal for sub-specialists. Now that ABOG has moved the exam dates up to the fall of 2023, it’s too risky to wait until a few months before your exam, so attend our Virtual April 18-23 Board Review Course via Zoom. We’ve covered 99% of exam topics for the past five years! We’ll spoon-feed you on your off-specialty topics and you will not need to go beyond your course binder.

AOBOG & ABOG 2023 Written/Qualifying Exam Candidates

The application period for the ABOG Qualifying Exam begins on January 2nd. The $1,600 examination fee is due by February 16th without any late penalty. The final deadline is March 3rd with an additional $360 late fee. The AOBOG Written Exam application is due on February 27th without a late penalty. The final deadline is March 24th with an additional late fee of $352.50. You must be candid as to what you can/cannot accomplish in 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 virtual and will be held via Zoom on April 19-23, 2023. There is precious little time to wade through the volumes of material to figure out what to prioritize. We’re a bit biased, as we feel we have the ideal course; however, you should look for the following features: You 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 if that was the case. It’s typically a processing problem. Our Test Taking Skills Online Course teaches you the CQRPE methodology of test taking. For AOBOG candidates it's not too early to start your exam preparation as April is just around the corner. We recommend our Written Exam Online Learning Prep Course which can be accessed anytime with an internet connection. Consider pairing it with our 1,400 Written Questions Online so you can test your knowledge as you methodically go through the diadactic lectures.

Test Taking Technique
The result of the 2023 ABOG Qualifying Exam will be reported by the end of September. The result will be reported as Pass or Fail but the candidate will also have the opportunity to get a list of percent scored in each of the major topic areas on their ABOG personal page. Thus, one 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 the 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. Our Practice Exam is the best way to test your stamina for the six-hour CREOGs. We suggest NLT 2 weeks before the exam.
Unfortunately, you don’t get your CREOG results until March, but they may be the perfect reality check to motivate you to get crack in’. Check your past scores. The magic # is > 200.

AOBOG 2023 Oral Exam Candidates

The final application deadline is January 20th with a $3,275 exam fee and an additional $982.50 late fee. Since your exam is being held during our spring review course we recommend you launch your studying with one of our Home Study Packages which provides 95% of current core topics. You will receive unlimited access to our course recordings along with strategy videos created just for the AOBOG candidate. As you get closer to your exam, we will schedule your one-on-one mock sessions with our DO faculty.

Test Taking Technique
Remember this is an oral exam, so you must practice articulating out loud. Our Structured Cases eerily simulate 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 easy to conduct, and your mock oral examiner doesn’t 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)

All 45 articles were due December 15theven 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 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.
Part III: Secure Written Exam
If you have not maintained at least an 86% average on your MOC articles and you’re about to enter MOC Year in 2023, you must pass a written exam by December 15, 2023. 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 virtual April 19-23, 2023 Board Review Course held via Zoom. This is not the same type of review course from the past. Just as you’ve evolved and practiced 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
If you do have to take the MOC exam - 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 on 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
The strategy is in choosing your selectives. The Board gives an itemization of the exam topics. Believe it or not, 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:
Obstetrics – Antepartum, Intrapartum, Postpartum. Gynecology only- Inpatient & Outpatient GYN focus, including REI, Urogyn, and Oncology 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 Osteopathic Continuous Certification in Obstetrics & Gynecology (OCC)

The recertification exam has been replaced with the (ARC) aka Advanced Real-time Certification. The good news is that it is an online assessment system allowing you to fulfill your OCC Component 3 requirements. Each year you are to complete 24 assessments.  Go to the AOBOG website for additional details. 

ABC Tip:
Consider attending our 5-day virtual review course on
April 19-23. 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 and all lectures follow the national ACOG guidelines. Even better, you’ll walk away with Category I AMA CME hours and with loads of clinical pearls, too.

Royal College 2023 Exam Candidates

With the written exam being right around the corner in March and the applied oral exam in May, we recommend that you check out our Royal College products page to help you better prepare. We offer a variety of practice exams and mock orals tailored to help you pass both exams.

Test Taking Tip
For the MCQ portion of your exam, ABC’s Written Question Manuals are a great source as they cover topics such as OB, REI, Oncology, FPM, GYN, and Office Practice.  They are not only subject-specific but also topic-specific questions so you can focus on known gaps of knowledge.  Choose from printed or online options.

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