Articles tagged with: Pediatric Certification

Late Fee or Study Free

Written by Stuart Silverstein on Monday, 27 March 2017. Posted in pediatric board certification review

Are you planning on taking the General Pediatric Certifying Exam this fall? If you are then October 16- 18th seems quite far in the distant future. In fact, it is!

However, the deadline for signing up for the exam is this coming Monday, April 3rd (two days after April Fools day)

Above: April Fools Day idea for your favorite person on the wards

Sure, you can still sign up after the deadline. It has been said that a fool and his money is soon parted and that would be the case for those who do not sign up before April Fools day.

Registration for the exam is already a steep $2,265. However, if you sign up after the deadline you will need to add on an additional $345 Late Fee.

That is almost enough to purchase our study package for $349.95.

You can make the foolish choice of paying the late fee or sign up for the exam now and study for free!

Above: How I feel when I save money by signing up for the exam on time

Click here for the exam registration!

Program by Program Passing Rate: Does it Matter?

Written by Stuart Silverstein on Friday, 15 April 2016. Posted in pediatrics board review

The American Board of Pediatrics has a report that includes the pass rates for residents taking the General Pediatric Certification Exam for the first time. The report included the same pass rate for Pediatric Residency Programs both in the US and Canada.  An important stat included in the report was the confidence interval.

 

They emphasize that the confidence interval is important when interpreting the data. The reason for this is, .. uh , um …. actually at this point I am not sure, since my mind kept wandering as I read the gruesome explanation.  We have included a link to the information which you can read on your own. However, does it really matter?

If you are going to learn about nuanced statistical analysis regarding confidence intervals, you are better off spending your energy studying the statistics topics you are responsible for on the pediatric certification exam.

pediatric_board_review_statistics

While this information might be useful on an aggregate level it is not really relevant on an individual basis. In fact, the analysis and explanation of the report focuses primarily on the limitation of the statistics.  They note that the confidence interval varies by the number of trainees, especially those with fewer than 25 trainees (is that your program?). They also note that if there were significant changes in the program during the period of time studied then the data is no longer accurate.

Therefore, we are presenting this information to you, but our take home message is that in your case there is only one trainee you should be interested in regardless of where you are training or trained.  If you prepare and study effectively you should be among the residents who pass the first time around. 

Additionally, if you are taking the exam for the 2nd time, then you can and should implement changes in the way you prepare for the exam.  Remember, the statistics don’t take into consideration those from residency programs that implemented improvements.

pediatric_boards_statistics 

It certainly won’t factor in effective exam preparation strategies you will implement regardless of where you trained. In fact, the 6th Edition of our Laughing Your Way to Passing the Pediatric Boards has a chapter on this topic

Remember, the pass rate in this study only includes those who pass the first time they take the exam. If you are among those who successfully pass with flying colors after failing the first time, you aren’t even being factored into this study. As a result, the study has no relevance for anyone taking the board exam for the 2nd time.

Therefore, after a casual glance you can skip this statistical study of the pass rate for pediatric residency programs. The only study you should be interested in is the study that you are participating in with a pass rate of 100% as your goal. 

If at First you Don’t succeed Try Try ….Something New ( Part 3 )

Written by Stuart Silverstein on Wednesday, 06 March 2013. Posted in failed pediatrics board exam, pediatrics board review, pediatric board certification review, Pediatric Maintenance of Certification

Of Course a Course?

Even if you are an auditory learner, attending a pediatric board review course is often not enough.  Live board review courses are primarily a good way to preview what you should be studying and/or serve as a review to reinforce the material you have already studied in board review books and questions. Even within a board review course one will find wide variation in the lectures. Some lecturers are very good at providing high yield pearls and focus their lecture on the board exam. Other lecturers just give their standard lecture on their area that includes clinical information and research that is not helpful to those of us who are only interested in passing the exam at this point in your career. 

Less is More

Often out of desperation, after failing the boards there is a tendency to buy every book written and attend every course you “ heard” was good.  It is better to focus in on a limited number or resources and really work with them than to surround yourself with a forest of books and material. 20% of the material out there will give you 80% of the results. Focus on the 20% that will work for you. There is nothing wrong with using the same resources as before or updated editions, as long as you take a new approach.

Pediatric Studying

Content Specifications

The American Academy of Pediatrics publishes the Content Specifications of topics you need to focus on in preparing for the pediatric board exam, which is similar to the content specifications for the Pediatric Maintenance of Certification/ Recertification exam published by the American Board of Pediatrics. It can be found here

 

Included in the content specifications are important images and illustrations you must be familiar with. Therefore you will need a good access and/or material that will help you distinguish between similar looking illustrations, tables and photos.

 

There is very little variation from year to year regarding the topics emphasized in the content specifications. The core material needed to pass the boards is fairly static.

Reinforce with Review

Remember to review the material you studied the previous study session. With each progressive week the sections you have reviewed more than 3 times will become less and less time consuming. At the end you will be studying the areas you were stronger in to begin with.

In fact each study session you should begin my answering board review questions from the material you studied the previous week to gauge how well you actually mastered the material and to identify any gaps.

Missed it by That Much

Of course most pediatricians who failed the exam tell us they failed by only a few points. In the past the curve has been set up so that everyone who fails the exam misses it by a small margin, which often comes down to 10-15 questions. We have heard that the grading system has changed somewhat and that instead of a curve, passing is based on answering a minimum number or percentage of questions correctly.  This will be the subject of a future blog.  In the meantime we still suspect that passing and failing will still come down to 10 -15 questions making the difference between passing and failing the boards.

We have outlined some important steps you can take that will help you answer the 10-15 that make the difference between failing and passing the boards successfully.

We have heard from some of you who are taking the exam again and wish to hear from more of you. This will enable us to help share, anonymously of course, the experience of others. This pooled information can further help repeat board takers finally get it done.

Finally, we know you may feel like this now:

You may feel like this

But once you outline a study schedule and strategy you should and need to feel like this:

You need to feel like this 

 

If at First you Don’t succeed Try….Something New (Part 1)

Written by Stuart Silverstein on Friday, 01 February 2013. Posted in failed pediatrics board exam, pediatrics board review, pediatric board certification review

If at First you Don’t succeed Try….Something New (Part 1)

The failure rate for those taking the General Pediatric Board Exam administered by the American Board of Pediatrics is surprisingly high. The overall failure rate is approximately 40%. However, this includes everyone taking the Pediatric Board exam, including those taking the exam for the first time and those taking it for the 2nd, 3rd and Nth time

 

Sadly, if you have taken the exam before, which would mean you failed at it at least once your chance of failing is higher. The failure rate is only ~25% for first time takers. Therefore, a large proportion of those taking the Pediatric Board Exam have failed it in the past.

 

I have a confession to make. I didn’t pass the pediatric certification exam the first time I took it either. But please don’t tell anyone, I would like to keep this a secret between myself, pediatric residents, pediatricians, and those who are following us here, here, and here. Shh let’s keep this between us only.

 

Misery enjoys Miserable Company

If you have taken the board exam before you know who you are… You are the ones going to the same pediatric board review courses and avoiding eye contact with each other. 

 

This is unfortunate since making contact and comparing notes would go a long way to avoiding making this into an annual ritual. Instead of attending another board review course it’s time to become a board certified pediatrician and attend one of those vacation pediatric conferences in the Caribbean.

Life in the Skinner Box Taking a New Approach

Do you remember those rats in the Skinner box you learned about in Psych 101 during your glorious college days? Those rats often understood something that even the brightest doctors sometimes miss: The rates learn that if pressing the same bar over and over gets you a tazer shot they need to try a new approach. Yet most pediatricians who get that tazer in the form of that failure notice from the American Board Of Pediatrics continue to take the same approach year after year thinking eventually it will work and they will get the “pediatric board certification“ pellet they desire. They attend the same pediatric board review courses, order the same pediatric board review DVD’s, access the same Board Review Questions and Answers, and the same editions of the Board Review Books that didn’t work for them. By no means am I telling you that those won’t help. However, it is the study method that must be tweaked.

 

It is unlikely that the pediatric board certification will suddenly appear unless you change your approach.  We will go through a systematic approach here for those of you who will be preparing for the boards a 2nd time. I once had to go through that process myself, but as I said that will be a secret between us.