May 2022 Tip of the Month

For ABOG 2022 Qualifying Written Exam Candidates

The exam is in three months. For those of you finishing your residency, the end-of-year projects and deadlines will really compete with your remaining study time. It is your responsibility to schedule a seat with the Pearson VUE testing center. Seat reservations are to be booked no later than April 26th. Seats are limited and are assigned on a “first-come, first-served” basis. You need to do some soul searching and accept the fact that you simply will not be able to cover all the topics on 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. Revise your study plan weekly and begin to discard those low yield topics. Plan to finish your entire review between May and June, as July will focus on strengthening your strengths. You must practice with written questions at the end of each study topic. Our Written Question Manuals are designed for exactly this. They are organized by topic so you can beeline right to the questions to cross-check your subject review. For example, if you just reviewed Ovarian cancer, then you need questions on ovarian cancer. Our WQMs are the only ones in the industry that allow you to search at this level. None of the current computer banks, nor even the PROLOGs allow searching to this degree. Included are 1200+ questions, plus a narrative explanation for each answer, along with references. They are in both printed or online versions. We also have a Q Banks for the OB/GYN with random topics. These are helpful when you have completed your review and are just looking for volume and variety. 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.
You can do it, we can help.

Test Taking Technique:
You probably intuitively knew this, but studies confirm that students usually miss the questions they spent the most time on. Compare this to the lead runner. Turning to look back to see where the other runners are will just slow him down. Thus, we recommend you proceed methodically, deliberately, and purposefully answering FIRST those questions for which you clearly know the answer. For questions that you cannot determine the answer readily (e.g. within 30 seconds), develop a system of priority for returning back to those questions AFTER you finish those for which you easily know the answers. Don’t compromise sure-pass questions by getting bogged down with the tougher questions that you will most likely get wrong anyway. The computer will let you flag the questions, but not by priority. As you go back through, start with those questions that you are certain you can figure out but will need a little bit of time to think through. Next, tackle those questions that you must put more work into. They’re not impossible, but you’re going to have to spend considerable time. Finally, for those questions that you haven’t any idea (where do they find these?!), use the SAME LETTER for all your WILD GUESSES. Keep on truckin’ and don’t look back. We are not aware of any evidence-based recommendation for which letter to use, but since all questions have at least four options, but some with five, we advise against using the letter “E”. Therefore, chose either “A, B, C or D” for your wild guesses, but use the SAME letter for all, as you statistically will have a better chance of getting some correct. 

ABOG 2022 Certifying Oral Exam Candidates

Applications for the exam were due by April 14th. Your examination fee, late fees, and case list are due by August 17th, 2022. Unfortunately, the examination fee is in addition to the application fee that you already forked over. Simply go online to www.abog.org to complete this nuisance, but necessary, task. Only three months left to complete your collection of cases. At this point, you must be up to date with all your past OB and GYN entries. The clock is ticking. At this point, you should have three fourths, if not all, of your office patients selected. Plan to complete all 40 categories by the end of June and try to use as many categories as possible. A well-constructed list makes all the difference in its defense. Since so much is riding on your case list, consider getting the expert’s stamp of approval. The ABC faculty can provide a Comprehensive Case List Review and give construction tips on every single case. Unique only to ABC, the reviewer will then give you a call to review construction highlights and give you a chance to ask questions. Send whatever you have now, as it is a first-come-first-served basis, and we get over-run starting in mid-June. Before you are all consumed with finishing your case list, be proactive, and register for your fall review course. We’ll be offering in-person in Asheville, NC or remote via Webex. We suggest our course on September 13-18, 2022. We’re not just a review course, but a board review course, to provide an exam focused review. Unable to attend our review course? Consider registering for our Oral Exam Workshop scheduled for Tuesday, September 13th. The day is devoted to defending your case list and teaches you how to approach the structured cases portion of your exam.  Don’t worry about studying at all this month. Your priority is to finish that case list.

Case List Construction Tip: 
Formatting is the most powerful tool to raise your case list head and shoulders above the others -especially in strategically pulling the examiner to cases YOU want to talk about. The mandatory entry online has presented some new challenges with formatting, but we’ve got it figured out. If you need some help or just simply a boost of confidence, then let us review your list prior to submission. We get overrun and it’s a first come first served, so send us your list by end of May or early June. The examiner gets your list before they meet you, so your #1 construction goal is to create a list that’s a pass walking IN to the exam.

For Subspecialist Candidates for the 2022 ABOG General Certifying Oral Exam

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 Pass Your Oral OB/GYN Board Exam by Dr. Das are excellent step-by-step guides. Dr. Das even has a section in her book just for subspecialists. Since so much is riding on your case list, consider getting the expert’s stamp of approval. The ABC faculty can provide a Comprehensive Case List Review and give construction tips on every single case. Send whatever you have NOW, as it is a first-come, first-served basis and we get over-run starting in mid-June.

Case List Construction Tip:
Remember you are sitting for your general boards. The least important case list is your specialty. In your “off subject,” you must list 20 applied patients from your chief resident cases. You want these cases to reflect a depth and breadth of care. Choose bread & butter cases and try and use as many categories as possible. I challenge you to use 20 categories!

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. Start collecting those cases NOW, while you still have easy access to patient records. 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 cases 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 desist and “go fish” for another case.

Test Taking Technique:
I know you can’t wait to move on to your subspecialty training. However, you’re at your peak in your general OB/GYN knowledge. By the time you take your oral exam, you will have forgotten so much. So, collect those “bread and butter” common cases now. Yeah, those boring ones you turn over to the interns. You will be ever so grateful later. Fellows have the option to apply for the accelerated track. I know you’re busy and excited to matriculate into your subspecialty, but truly, if you don’t use it, you lose it! Plan to apply for the fast track just as soon as you get your congratulatory letter notifying you that you passed your written boards. Next, order the 5th edition of Pass Your Oral Ob/Gyn Board Exam by Dr. Das. It’s a quick read while you’re sitting on the beach during that well-deserved vacation between residency and fellowship. It walks you through the entire process from application to awaiting exam results. If you begin with the end in mind, then there will be no surprises, as forewarned is forearmed.

For AOBOG 2022 & 2023 Oral Exam Candidates

The 2022 Fall exam has been scheduled for October 7-8. AOBOG has decreased the number of stations a candidate rotates through from four to three, the length of each station has increased from 55 minutes to 75 minutes, but the overall time of the exam will remain the same at four hours including breaks. They will incorporate the visual slides, video clips, etc. into the three stations in an oral format. Each of the stations will use a minimum of three scenarios from the following topics.

  • General Obstetrics and Gynecology
    • Office Based
    • Hospital Based
    • Outpatient Based
  • Gynecologic Oncology
    • Neoplasms of the vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries and those associated with pregnancy
    • Questions regarding workup and diagnosis of other common neoplasms of the female (breast, colon or other)
  • Female Pelvic Medicine and 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 diagnostic workup
    • Interventions available during pregnancy
  • Questions Relevant to Professionalism, Communication Skills, and Lifelong Learning:
    • Protocols
    • Electronic Health Records
    • Patient Safety
    • Drills

Source: https://certification.osteopathic.org/obstetrics-gynecology/certification-process/obstetrics-gynecology/oral-exam/

Osteopathic Philosophy and Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine will be assessed regarding treatment modalities for both the obstetric and the gynecologic patient. Our OMM for the OB/GYN, is a great way to get an exam -focused review on OMM. Obviously, we’re a bit biased, as we feel we have the ideal course; however, you should look for certain features. We recommend a BOARD review course, not just a review course, for an exam focused review.  The 5 days will be a mixture of high yield lectures followed by structured cases in the afternoon. There is precious little time to wade through the volumes of material to figure out what to prioritize. Did you know our syllabus and Test Topics Manual is highlighted with the core topics? Then for those of you preparing for your Spring 2023 exam, launch your studying by attending our September 14-18 course in person or using our virtual option. Since 2011, we’re batting a 99% rate for those who have attended our review course.
You can do it, we can help.

Test Taking Tips:
Given several of the core topics are so broad now, it’s critical to follow your comprehensive review with our September 14 – 18 course as we will cover lots of spin off topics that you didn’t see coming. Also, this will be a sweet time to experience mock orals as a culmination to all those months of studying.

ABOG Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Candidates

 

Part IILifelong Learning: ABOG just published the 2nd quarter articles. Of course, you can extend or drag out those first quarter articles all the way up until the December 16th deadline, but WHY? You need to finish up those first quarter articles and start working on the 2nd quarter ones. 
Part III: Secure Written Exam For those of you in MOC Year 6, you must pass a written exam by December 16th, 2022. We have three 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 take great comfort in our five-day review course starting September 14-18 in Asheville, North Carolina or virtually from the comfort of your home. 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.
 
Test Taking Tip:
The written exam is only 100 questions, and you answer two books of fifty questions each. 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.

 
Generalists: 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) 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
 We’re getting lots of questions on how to choose 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 fortunately, the focus 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: 
  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

CREOG In-service training exam participants

Well, the exam is not for another eight months. If you scored > 200, regardless of your PGY year, you’re in pretty good shape. It’s going to get hectic with the end of the residency year coming up and everyone preparing to move up in rank. If you scored < 200, you are below the mean. Although CREOG will not reveal statistics, we have found that your performance level, regardless of your year, will continue. In other words, PGY3s cannot use the excuse of being post call or on the Oncology service as the reason for poor performance. You need to be proactive to improve your score during your chief year. If you have scored < 200, or worse yet, < 190, all three years, you need to take corrective measures to improve your test taking skills. To simply study more is probably not the solution. Don’t keep kicking the can down the road. You can begin to undo those lifelong bad habits of test taking by enrolling in our Test Taking Skills Course online now. You can even get exam prep assistance with one of our ABC faculty. Our Performance Reports are designed to help analyze your performance and give you invaluable feedback via email. The only predictor of your performance is your CREOG score. Therefore, you must take it very seriously. Our September 14-18 Course is the perfect time to prepare your assault and nail the exam in January.

Taking Tips:
Don’t discard your CREOG in-service training exam performance report! You now know your strong and weak topics. Come up with a plan to fill in those weak topics. Don’t let these upcoming months of opportunity slip away.

Royal Canadian College 2022 Exam Candidates

This year the oral examination on May 31st. There is still some time to get some last-minute practice in. Make sure you check out our products page for the Canadian Royal College. We offer structured cases, mock orals, and comprehensive reviews to help guide you towards acing that oral exam.
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