How Physicians Can Prepare for an Oral Board Certification Examination with an ABPS Member Board

Prepare for Oral Board Certification ExamTime 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)
  • Diagnosis
  • 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.

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Patient Care Is Our Priority

Medical organizations throughout North America understand that our rigorous certification standards prove that ABPS Diplomates are capable of delivering the best patient care possible.

When I think historically, advancement in medicine and patient safety and care has been driven by the diversity of people and scientific thought. That’s what I found at the ABPS and more. For over 60 years that is just who we are. I found a physician certifying body that provides a choice and voice to all physicians ensuring that patients are always placed first.

Jerry Allison, MD
Emergency Medicine
When I decided to pursue a full time role as a physician executive it was important to me to obtain additional professional training, education and work experience. Board certification through the ABPS in Administrative Medicine is validation of my efforts and a demonstration of dedication to professional development. We need more physicians to become full time health care executives, knowing there is a board certification option in Administrative Medicine encourages physicians to take the leap from full time clinical practice to healthcare organizational leadership.

Richard Paula, MD
Administrative Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has provided me with the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of internal medicine through board certification. As a hospitalist, board certification is an expected credential, and hospitals recognize the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) as one of the three standard credentialling bodies for Internal Medicine. Additionally, the ABPS has helped me develop leadership skills as a Board member and Committee Chairperson. ABPS has also helped me sharpen critical thinking skills as a test question developer and reviewer. The Allopathic (MD) and Osteopathic (DO) physicians in the ABPS are lifelong learners and frequently pursue multiple board certifications. I enjoy the camaraderie of my peers in ABPS.

Loren Jay Chassels, DO
Internal Medicine