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

I feel truly blessed and grateful to be an internal medicine board-certified diplomate with the American Board of Physician Specialties. Their ongoing, steadfast commitment to physician board(s) enhancement, forward focused vision, and tenacity is second to none. ABPS has become a recognized choice in Physician Board Certification.

Adam Rench, MD
Internal Medicine
To be the best, you must measure yourself against the best. Achieving Board Certification in Emergency Medicine by the ABPS gave me the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the art of EM in an objective way. The high bar that ABPS sets for candidates to be allowed to take both the written and oral exam is a testament to ABPS's rigorous vetting of one's ability to practice Emergency Medicine at a high level. By maintaining these credentials, I've been able to instill confidence in my abilities at the department/employer level and ultimately with the patients that choose to seek emergency care at the facilities at which I practice.

Royce Mathew Joseph, MD
Emergency Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has supported the entire field of Integrative Medicine in sponsoring our board. It has been so validating of the importance of prevention-oriented and holistic approaches to care while emphasizing the scientific basis of this specialty to have it recognized by ABPS. I am proud to have been one of the first groups to be board certified by ABPS in Integrative Medicine, leading the way for others committed to training in this specialty.

Myles Spar, MD
Integrative Medicine