September 2016 Tip of the Month

Amy Crockett, MD, FACOG
ABC Faculty MFM Lecturer and Mock Oral Examiner

Dr. Crockett graduated cum laude with a major in history from Princeton. She completed medical school at Ohio State University, then her residency at Baylor. She found roots in the South and completed her Master's in Public Health and her MFM fellowship at the University of North Carolina. She is double boarded in general OB/GYN and MFM. She is an Associate Professor at the University of South Carolina's Greenville Hospital System Medical Center. She has received the CREOG National Faculty Award and was selected for a Liberty Fellowship, a prestigious program in South Carolina which recognizes and develops leaders felt to have the most potential to make an impact on the State's future. 

ABOG 2016 ORAL Exam Candidates

The November exam is in nine weeksYIKES! If you have not already done so, send your case list NOW to your local/regional consultants or colleagues for recommendations in DEFENDING your case list:

            Case list component                     Reviewer

                    OB                                                       MFM, generalist

                    GYN                                                    GYN ONC, Urogyn, Generalist

                    Office                                                  Generalist, REI, FP, IM

Make sure you give them a strict deadline - say two weeks; and set a date now to discuss their recommendations. Also consider utilizing the Comprehensive Case List Review offered by the ABC faculty. We’ll help you defend those nightmare cases or, just as important, point out the usual exam focus for all of your cases.
The other half of the exam is the Structured Cases. We have a number of products to help you get totally comfortable with this portion of your exam. Our Structured Cases CDs are grouped according to subject, so they’re an excellent way to fill in topic gaps, as well as practice the oral format. We have over 100 cases. Our Structured Cases Webinar Archives each cover four cases-of-the-day. The faculty-led discussion of the answers and grading gives you that ah-hah factor to totally nail this portion of your exam. You’ll end up with 72 cases.
If your exam is in December or January, ABCs November 16-20 BOARD Review Course is the perfect time for you. Our faculty is exceptionally knowledgeable about the oral exam and provides specific services, such as Mock Oral Exams, Case List Reviews and Structured Cases. Ideally, complement the content covered at the review course with our Oral Exam Workshop, which is devoted to the strategy in taking an oral exam. The earlier you take these services, the better off you’ll be, as your studying will take far more time than you budgeted, so it is better to identify as early as possible the topics you need to prioritize.
Regardless of the month of your exam, you MUST know your case list COLD! For every patient, make a copy of the case from your case list, draft a clinical summary, identify the patient management issues and compile both the compendium references on the issues and your clinically oriented review. Viola! Now you know her stone cold. If that was a fly by, duh, which way did he go? moment, then refer to Dr. Das’ book, Pass Your Oral OB/GYN Board Exam for details for this clever and efficient way to base your studying from your case list.

Study Tip:
Another sure fire way to learn your cases, as well as have some fun coloring, is to get out your four favorite colored highlighters. Use the same color for ALL the cases with the following commonalities: labs, imaging, medications and surgeries. For example, everything highlighted in blue is medications. Each area has characteristic features. In this example, for each medication, identify the generic/brand name, mechanism of action, indications, etc. Enter the data on a flashcard or in your phone and quiz yourself in between cases or awaiting a delivery.
You can do it … we can help.


Subspecialty Fellows Planning for their 2016 ABOG General Oral Board Exam

Now that your case list has been turned in, you recognize how much you forgot in your off-specialty subjects. That’s where they get the expression, “If you don’t use it, you lose it”. Our review course is IDEAL for fellows, as we tell you just what you need to know; then you can joyfully repress it again after your test. Even if your exam is not until January, there is A LOT to relearn….OK, for some of you, to learn.
We strongly recommend you come to either our September or our November course to gather all the material you will need for 95% of your test. For those of you whose exam is not until December or January and choose to attend the September course, we’ll even let you come back to the November course for a day or two just to take mock oral exams. Heck, bring back your syllabus and we’ll let you sit through the lectures for free while you are waiting for your next mock oral exam.
We also encourage you to tap into our Do or Die in Dallas, which provides an opportunity for last minute polishing or cramming.

Study Strategy:
Time is short. Remember, you are sitting for your general boards, NOT your subspecialty boards. Starting now, don’t study anything in your subspecialty; focus entirely on your off subjects. You do not need to study to the exhaustive, minutiae detail that you are used to for your subspecialty. It will not score you any more points and is a waste of precious study time. Our Test Topics Manual will provide you a template for an exam-focused review.
You can do it … we can help

ABOG 2017 ORAL Exam Candidates

Congratulations for passing Go (or your Written Exam) and collect your $200. No rest for the weary. If you took the exam as a resident, you may apply for the Accelerated Process. This is fancy talk; the simple translation is that this applies to you if you finished your residency in June 2016, and want to sit for your oral exam in 2017. The deadline for the application is September 15, 2016.
For the majority of you taking the conventional route (in other words, you’ve been in practice at least a year), you cannot apply for the 2017 oral exam until February 1, 2017. However, if you wait this long to enter cases you’re already EIGHT months behind – BIG MISTAKE!
For ANYONE taking their 2017 oral exams, go to now to get your case list software.  Remember the collections started, as in past tense, JULY 1, 2016.

Case List Construction Tip:
Don’t fret about details of how to enter the cases. You’ll change your mind at least a half dozen times before it’s all said and done. For all GYN patients, start a habit of collecting H&Ps, operative notes, pathology reports and discharge summaries. For all OB patients, keep a file of the prenatal forms, delivery notes, discharge summaries and postpartum notes. Don’t worry about the office patients yet. Take a stab at entering the data on the case list forms and just use your common sense.
Speaking of case lists, ABC will be debuting our case list software in November. We’ve always promoted a custom case list, but it took a highly motivated candidate to step up to the plate. No longer a seemingly insurmountable task, it’ll now be as easy as reciting your ABCs.
Rest assured, we have our Case List Construction Workshop scheduled for as early as April, 2017. You might ask why not have a workshop before you start collecting cases? Well, because it’s too early and advanced. It’s like trying to teach surgical tips for a vaginal hysterectomy before the student has even seen or read about hysterectomy. The ABOG Bulletin is self-explanatory and will get you started. After you’ve worked with your list for several months, our workshop will make so much more sense.
For those who are OCD, order your copy of Pass Your Oral Ob/Gyn Board Exam by Dr. Das for a complete step-by-step guide. Start today in creating a good habit of collecting and entering cases.


AOBOG ORAL Exam Candidates

The September 30 and October 1, 2016 exams are NEXT month! Applications for the April 21and 22, 2017 exam are available September 1st. The application fee of $3275 is due by January 16, 2017, or when the cap is reached.
September should be a comprehensive, exhaustive review for each core topic. Our September 14-18 course is the perfect time to pull it all together. We have to brag a bit, as 99% of course attendees for the past three years have passed their oral exam!
Our Structured Cases Webinar Archives each covers four cases-of-the-day and targets AOBOG core topics. The faculty-led discussion of the answers and grading gives you that ah-hah factor to totally nail this portion of your exam. You’ll end up with 72 cases.
If you can’t attend the live webinar, the next best thing is our Structured Cases CD. We’ve received rave feedback that they closely simulate the exam. Each CD is subject-based, including Urogynecology, Oncology, OB, GYN and REI, as well as specific for each core topic.
For those preparing for their spring exams, if you really want to get a head start, come to our November course and follow it up our three-month-long Oral Exam Webinar that addresses each core topic. Lucky for your that each session is archived!
Did you know that our syllabus even highlights EACH core topic? We also have an evening session that puts each core topic under the microscope and painstakingly goes through potential exam topics.

Test Taking Technique:
Practice makes perfect. This is an oral exam. You can study more, but if you can’t persuasively articulate then all that work is for naught. Just reach out and touch, as in the phone. The number of private mock orals is limited only by your stamina.
You can do it … we can help

ABOG and AOBOG 2017 WRITTEN Exam Candidates

The exam is nine months away - how coincidental. The ABOG application is now available on-line at Don’t shoot the messenger, but in case you need to budget, the $1470 application and examination fee are both due by October 18. For those of you taking your AOBOG exam, applications are available September 1.
If this is your first time to take the exam and you have historically performed at above average on your CREOG in-service-training exam, kick back and chill. But just to keep your fingers nimble, our Question of the Day Calendar is based upon the ACOG Compendium. You can keep it on your desk to assure you do one question daily, and it includes a narrative explanation of the answer. Start a little friendly competition with your partners and wager a bet every month. Go big and at year end, have the loser pick up an extra call!
If this will be at least your second attempt or you have performed at or below average on your CREOG in-service-training exam, you need to decide if you can, and will, truly commit to adequately preparing for this exam. If your answer is anything but an emphatic yes, you are setting yourself up for another disappointment.
We strongly advise you to come to our November 16-20 course. Not only will we provide you with the study materials that cover 90% of your exam, but we’ll help you develop a study plan to come out running at the six month mark.
Fall is also the ideal time to consider an evaluation by our education experts, Martin and Jane Jolley. Statistically, the chances of failing the exam again after two attempts are dismally high. However, the program established by ABC and the Jolleys has completely defied those odds. To say that we’ve blown them off the charts is an understatement. Call us and let us individualize a custom plan for you.

Study Tip:
The CREOG in-service training exam is in January, 2017. Since ABOG stopped reporting the actual score for the written board exam, our only benchmark is the CREOG score. You must score > 200 to comfortably pass your board exam. So don’t just blow it off this year.
Although publicly fellowship directors will tell you that your score on CREOGs doesn’t affect your fellowship application; this is about as credible as medical schools saying MCATs don’t mean much … yeah, right. So maybe your scores don’t hurt you, but they sure could help you …a lot!
The exam is in three months, of which two are holiday months. Time will slip away quickly. If your residency does not have a regimented CREOG prep course, you need to develop a study schedule now. Kill two birds with one stone by using the ABOG written board learning objectives as your guide. Simply go to the General OB/GYN Bulletin on your home page.
Anyone can take the exam, even non-residents, so we strongly recommend taking them if you failed your written board exam.  Just contact Darya Valantsevich at You must register by November 2016.
You can do it … we can help


ABOG Maintenance of Certification

Part II Lifelong Learning

ALL 45 articles are due December 15.   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.
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 those of you in your third year, you should have started the Safety Course. You cannot enter it until you have completed 60 questions from the 1st or 2nd quarter articles. The Safety Course is accessed only on-line, so if you’re one who likes to print out the articles and questions, you’re out of luck.

Part III Secure Written Exam

Those of you in MOC Year 6 who have not averaged 86% or higher on your articles must pass a written exam by December 15, 2016. ABC has 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 courses being held September 14-18 and November 16-20. This is not the same type of review course as in 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 every day practice tips, too.
Our Annual MOC Manuals summarize each of the articles AND include written questions since 2011. Think of them as Cliff notes, as they will save you oodles of time. You are also accountable for Safety and Professionalism. Remember you completed the Safety course in your third year, but you could not print out the articles. Fortunately, ABC had the foresight to create a Safety Course Manual.
ABOG has confirmed that an emphasis will be placed on both the Compendium and the articles. ABC is collaborating with Rapid Recert, who has created a summary of each Compendium article … sweet!
Oh, just in case you think you’re coasting after you pass your written exam, think again. You still have to read the 2016 articles. No rest for the weary!

Test Taking Tip:
The written exam is on the computer. Many of you have never taken an exam on the computer, and it’s not the same as a beloved written book. Your old friend, the pencil, is obsolete. Do not wait until the day of the exam to discover this.  Go to ahead of time for a tutorial to familiarize yourself with how to take an exam on the computer.
If you’re still not one to be ill-prepared, try out our computerized questions. Go to > written exam > test question bank > > OB/GYN Diagnostic Tests. Many of the questions were based upon the MOC articles and are formatted like your ABOG board exam. The best part is, for instant gratification, each has a narrative explanation of the answer.
Unlike most computer banks that require a year-long subscription, the ABC bank is a pay as you go. You may simply need only one bank of 105 questions to feel comfortable. It’s no coincidence that your exam is also only 100 questions!


AOBOG Osteopathic Continuous Certification in Obstetrics & Gynecology (OCC)

The OCC Written exam is now offered only once a year at the Spring AOBOG meeting. Applications for the April 12, 2017, exam will be available September 1st.
This exam is usually a walk in the park for generalists practicing both obstetrics & gynecology. The breakdown of the OCC exam is as follows: 

General Obstetrics                              25%

Maternal Fetal Medicine                      10%

Gynecology (office and surgery)        40%

Reproductive Endocrinology               10%

Gynecologic Oncology                       10%

Miscellaneous                                       5%

Test Taking Tip:
If you’re not a generalist; or if you are, but you’ve limited your practice, then yikes!...the exam is anything BUT a walk in the park! The exam covers the whole depth and breadth of OB/GYN, but what a coincidence… so does our review course! You’ll want to come in November so you’ll have time to embrace those areas that are covered in dust.


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