March 2022 Tip of the Month

For ABOG & AOBOG 2022 Written Exam Candidates

For those of you taking the AOBOG exam, the $1175 examination fee is due by March 16th. The final application deadline is April 15th with a late fee of $352. Make sure you take advantage of March and April to “kick butt” and crank out the rest of the topics on your study plan. For ABOG folk, make sure to reserve a seat at Pearson VUE before the final deadline of April 26th. We strongly advise taking a board prep course, as a weekend workshop or evening webinar simply cannot provide the content. No matter how many practice questions you experience, you simply can’t answer them well if you lack the foundation. It’s like trying to build a brick wall with only the bricks and not the mortar. We recognize that there is precious little time to wade through the volumes of material. That’s why we provide an exam focused review in accordance with the latest ACOG clinical guidelines. We will review high-yield topics in 42 hours over five days at our BOARD Prep Course to be held April 20-24This year we’ll be offering in-person and virtual options. Historically, our course covers 90% of exam topics! Each day is filled with focused didactic sessions on OB, REI, Primary Care, ONC, GYN/Office, Peri Op & FPM. You will then test your retention with topic-specific questions, learn to analyze your performance, practice written test-taking strategy and participate in a facilitated review of the answers. You must be candid as to what you can/cannot accomplish within your study plan. Have you finished the MUST KNOW topics? Our Test Topics Manual is a great resource, as it lists high-yield topics and the expected test questions. We suggest you shift to those topics that we don’t have time to cover at the course. These include ethics, genetics, safety, statistics, practice, and liability management. Don’t forget! YOU MUST PRACTICE WITH WRITTEN QUESTIONS at the end of EACH study topic. Our Written Questions Manuals provide 1200+ questions. Since the test is computerized, ideally you should practice with tests in this same format. Our Written Questions are all available online by subscription. 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 Test 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.  If you need accountability, consider purchasing our Performance Reports.  Our faculty will give you feedback (via email). Finally, like any big performance, a dress rehearsal is a must. Our Practice Test simulates your exam. It has 250 questions timed for 4 hours.

Test Taking Technique:
ABOG set a precedent in 2010 exam by not relinquishing the board exam scores, so candidates received only a pass or fail grade. Thus, the only parameter to gauge or predict Board exam performance is the CREOG in-service-training exam. This month, you received your CREOG results. Don’t cry over spilled milk; rather let’s add some yummy cookies. This report has two pieces of helpful information. One is your raw score. In the past, there was little incentive to correlate board and CREOG performance, so there are only a few studies. However, we now know that a score of 205 or more predicts passing your boards. If you didn’t score this minimum of 200, you must get going. Secondly, the report gives a fantastic itemization of your strengths and weaknesses per topic. What’s that old saying? “Trick me once, shame on you, trick me twice, shame on me”. So TODAY you must start focusing on your weaknesses! Practice makes perfect. You are taking a written exam, after all, so you must follow each topic review with written questions.

For ABOG 2022 Certifying Oral Exam Candidates

The application and fee of $940 was due on February 10th. From now until April 1st the new application amount with an included late fee ($360) is $1,300 total. Any applications submitted on April 2nd until April 14th will accrue an additional late fee of $840, making the total application cost $1,780. Don’t overlook this menial, but necessary, administrative task. We strongly recommend our April 19-24 Board Review Course, which will be offered with in-person and virtual options this year. This is the ideal time, as you will be all consumed with finishing your case list from June to August. You must assume that your exam could be the first round in November October, which only gives you less than two months to prepare after you turn in your case list. Taking a review course in the spring puts you in a proactive mode, whereas, if you procrastinate until the fall, you’ll be in a reactive tailspin. We provide an exam-focused review of the ABOG published exam topics in accordance with the latest ACOG clinical guidelines. Together we’ll construct cases for your case list and then run them by the faculty examiner. If he/she takes a line of questioning that you don’t want, then we’ll put them in the corner and reconstruct it. Keeping in mind that this is an oral exam, although months away, we’ll then finish up each session with mock oral exams on structured cases. The faculty will then coach you on verbalizing the correct answers. Not sure what you need to prepare for your exam? Our Ultimate Oral Exam package has it all! It includes our April workshop & review course, set of 85 structured cases, deposit towards review of your case list prior to submission, return in the fall for the Oral Exam Workshop, and 3 telephone mock orals with our faculty. Only three months left to complete your collection of cases. ABOG requires you to use their case list software to enter your cases online. 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 being offered on April 19th, 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 wanting a little extra prep, order your copy of the Pass Your Oral Ob/Gyn Board Exam by Dr. Das, for a complete step-by-step guide.

Case List Construction Tip:
You still have time to collect GYN patients for hysterectomy, bilateral salpingectomy. Also, instead of just a PPTL, how about a postpartum salpingectomy? Or instead of a Laparoscopic tubal ligation, a laparoscopic salpingectomy or fimbriectomy? Obviously, you could also demonstrate this on the OB list with a Cesarean delivery, bilateral fimbriectomy, but I doubt the MFM OB examiner is going to be as up to date. It might catch his/her eye as being odd and if he/she inquires, you’ll look cool- if you do it politely. Typically, it’s not advisable to try to one-up the examiner.

For AOBOG 2022 Certifying Oral Exam Candidates

Applications for the October 7-8, 2022 exam, along with the $3,275 exam fee, are due by June 7th without a late fee. However, don’t procrastinate. Since AOBOG implemented an exam cap. The cap has been reached within a couple of months. For those preparing for their March 25-26 exams, the exam is less than 2 months away. Check out our Home Study Packages that include over 44 hours of course lectures and strategy videos created just for the AOBOG oral exam candidate.  We also included mock orals and other AOBOG products. Pick a package that suits your needs. This is an oral exam. You must practice out loud. Pull it all together with our Structured Cases, based just on the core topics. Finally, let our faculty challenge you with private Virtual Mock Oral Exams, which are now being scheduled. Get all the exam willies out of the way, so you can explode out of the starting block on your big day.

Test taking tip
Fill in the blanks NOW for each core topic:
Definition (if applicable)
Incidence Pathogenesis & Etiology
          Differential diagnosis
Diagnostic criteria
          Work up
Laboratory evaluation Radiologic studies Treatment Medical Surgical Outcome Follow up

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 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, cease, and subsist and “go fish” for another.

Case List Construction Tip:
For many candidates, female pelvic medicine is a love/hate relationship. Commonly, many don’t have any FPM cases on their GYN case list since many generalists refer the patient to the urologist or urogynecologist. Nonetheless, you will be held accountable for female pelvic medicine on your oral exam. Given you’re in your chief year, FPM is practically second nature for you, so make sure to choose some 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 cases, such as stress urinary incontinence and prolapse. You can sneak in some office management, such as pessaries or OAB meds, by stating the patient failed these in your preoperative diagnosis. Don’t mention complex urodynamics in the workup, as the generalist only needs to know simple cystometrics. 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 2022 ABOG General Oral Board Exam

You can now sit for your general oral boards anytime during your fellowship. You will be shocked at how quickly you lose recall of your off-specialty subjects. Hence, I advise you to take your general oral boards as early as possible. 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 AND enter them into your software. GYN Oncologists, REI and Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgeons will need an OB list and MFMs need a GYN list. If you currently must 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? 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 #1 guide, Pass Your Oral OB/GYN Board Exam by Dr. Das are excellent step-by-step guides. Although it’s precocious, just an FYI that we offer preparation for your subspecialty boards. We have FPMRS, MFM and REI webinars specific to the oral exam. Additionally, we have an MFM & FPMRS 3-day interactive review course in November and REI 3-day review course in December.

AOBOG Recertification Written Exam, 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 giving you the opportunity 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 review course April 20-24, 2022.  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 you’ll walk away with Category I CME hours and with loads of clinical pearls, too.

Royal Canadian College 2022 Exam Candidates

You have a couple of weeks left and might start feeling out of breath. It is important at some point to slow down for a few days, take a vacation if possible and freshen up. You need a few days of rest to attack the last few weeks efficiently. Having your mind and body rested will only benefit you in the grand scheme of things. At this point, you might start feeling that the topic you studied back in early fall are well behind. You could start reviewing some of that theory and do practice questions. We cannot say it enough, practice questions!  Learning to answer questions efficiently is an important skill to have. At this point, following practice oral and MCQ, you must have a good idea of your area of weakness. Focus on increasing your strength around those areas, you still have time. Furthermore, it would be a good idea to start practice oral examinations. Don’t wait until after the written, the lapse of time is too short. Both exams are complimentary and learning the SOGC guidelines will help you with those two parts.

Test Taking Tips
For the MCQ portion of your exam, the ABC Written Question Manuals are a great resource. Available in print or online. They cover OB, REI, Oncology, FPM, GYN and Office Practice. Also, make sure to check out other available products to help you better prepare for the upcoming exams.

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