How Physicians Can Prepare for an Oral Board Certification Examination with an ABPS Member Board
Time management is the most important aspect of preparation when it comes to an oral board certification examination with one of the 12 Member Boards of the American Board of Physician Specialties that administer oral tests. Physician candidates are given 15-30 minutes per case, each of which begins with a case history of the patient that includes a patient history and describes how the patient came to the hospital, clinic, or doctor’s office. From there, it’s up to the candidate to manage the case within the allotted time.
Without ordering his or her thoughts regarding how to proceed generally with case management, a physician might become bogged down in detail or lose his or her focus during the course of the oral board certification examination. In order to pass the examination, a candidate must successfully manage all of the assigned patient simulations, addressing or verbally describing all of the following:
- Relevant information about patient history
- Physical examination of the patient or patients
- Assigning labs and tests
- Patient management (treatment, interventions, medications, and procedures)
- Patient disposition (hospitalization or discharge)
- Pathophysiology of the case
Keep in mind, too, that a big part of time management for an oral board certification examination is knowing where to look to find information vital to each case. Many candidates wrongly believe that they will lose points if they say they would look up information in a particular system or resource. However, as an example, examiners might actually reward points for a candidate who says he or she would call poison control for information on dosage. One way to demonstrate mastery of the core skills and knowledge required to provide the best possible care for patients is to show that you understand how to use resources appropriately.
In addition, is it important to verbalize the thought process for every stage of case management. Do not assume that the examiners know why you are ordering particular labs and tests, or how you reached a particular conclusion. When in doubt, talk it out.
For more information about how to prepare for an oral board certification examination with the ABPS, contact us today.