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Board Certification in Psychiatry

Discussion in 'Psychiatry' started by Anasazi23, Jul 28, 2009.

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  1. Anasazi23

    Anasazi23 Your Digital Ruler Moderator Emeritus

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    This thread in intended to give advice and guidance to those embarking on the arduous task of board certification. This sticky should remain valuable, as the board certification will soon be changing.

    In this sticky, you'll find links to important websites you'll need to register, and check back from time to time. Feel free to ask questions about the process, and to those who will soon be taking the updated format (non-traditional oral exam), feel free to opine on the experience - without, of course, violating the candidate confidentiality agreement.

    General discussion and experiences about the board certification process in psychiatry.

    Discussion regarding oral-board review courses.
  2. Anasazi23

    Anasazi23 Your Digital Ruler Moderator Emeritus

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    Books commonly used in review for the ABPN Psychiatry Board Certification Exam:

    Boarding Time (new edition)

    Psychiatry Test Preparation and Review Manual

    Mass General Psychiatry Update and Board Prep (outdated but a fan favorite)

    Clinical Neurology for Psychiatrists (a staple for the neurology portion of the exam)

    DSM-IV TR (know it cold, until the DSM-V comes out - then know that cold).

    DSM IV "Mini-D" (If the big DSM is just too big, memorize this instead. Also good for hotel cramming the night before).

    APA Practice Guidelines Also available on the APA website (www.psych.org) and increasing focus on the oral board exams. Some prefer the Texas algorithm. I think as long as you have an algorithm that makes sense, and you can demonstrate how you would proceed through treatment failures.

    Kaplan & Sadock Synopsis Another staple.

    Focus in Psychiatry Very helpful question book.

    The American Psychiatric Publishing Board Review Guide for Psychiatry I was underwhelmed by the thoroughness of the earlier edition. Perhaps this one is better.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2009
  3. fly77

    fly77 PsychRes

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    Thank you for all the info. I was just curious if there would be any advantage of taking the board certification prior to completing residency versus when you are working. Besides the fact we may get paid more if we are certified.

    Thank you in advance,
    Fly :whistle:
  4. Anasazi23

    Anasazi23 Your Digital Ruler Moderator Emeritus

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    I think there are a number of advantages to taking the boards while still in residency. Aside from the obvious fact that psychiatric "book knowledge" is closer to home while still in residency and therefore perhaps easier to recall, taking the boards while in residency allows one to take advantage of any perks in place for the resident. Many programs allow for course reviews to be taken as conference time, for example.

    A second advantage is that the closer you are to residency, the easier it may be for you to return to do mock board exams prior to taking part II of the exam. Part I has a high pass rate, and that pass rate drops dramatically for the second part - to around 50% by most estimates.

    Most residencies will allow as a courtesy, the former resident to return to the facility and use the patients in mock interviews. Many residencies will also offer attendings familiar with the board format to observe you and provide feedback to help increase your chances of passing.

    Once you're out in the working world, this becomes much more difficult, and practicing attendings rarely will have the time to help you with this. I think this is where many people resort ot paid workshops which are time-consuming, and expensive.

    Most hospitals appear to accept "board eligible" as a requirement for staff privilages. However, your marketability is increased by being board certified. By completing this process as quickly as possible, you're only giving yourself an advantage by opening more opportunities, in addition to higher salary.
  5. OldPsychDoc

    OldPsychDoc Senior Curmudgeon Moderator Emeritus SDN Advisor

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    Just to clarify, I don't believe that you can apply to take the boards in most cases until you are a PGY4 in status.

    Also consider any financial advantages either way--the tests are crazy expensive. If your residency program pays the fees (some do, some don't), try to get it done. OTOH--some employers will reimburse this as well. I had to pay out of pocket for Part I as a PGY4/fellow, but had my Part II and Addiction boards reimbursed as a job expense. :thumbup:
  6. erewon

    erewon

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    Any recommendations on any board review courses? Anyone know anything about the Oakstone Institute in Atlanta?
  7. Anasazi23

    Anasazi23 Your Digital Ruler Moderator Emeritus

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    I haven't heard of that one.

    I know that www.beattheboards.com is quite popular. Though again, expensive. I'm not sure if these courses are necessary, if you do the proper book work and mock interviews with feedback. I think that's what these courses essentially boil down to.

    On another note, I did see the beat the boards course book for the orals, and it seemed filled with good and practically helpful info. I and many others passed without it though - again, make sure you have good mocks.
  8. michaelrack

    michaelrack All In at the wrong time SDN Advisor

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    beat the Boards is a great course.

    Even though most residency programs will let you do some mock oral live patient interviews, most don't do a good job of preparing you for the vignette portion of the orals.
  9. Anasazi23

    Anasazi23 Your Digital Ruler Moderator Emeritus

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    I agree with MichaelRack about the vignette portion.

    I sort of blew this off in my studying, spending only an hour or two practicing it in total on a whim with a colleague who suggested we work on it a bit.

    I was unpleasantly surprised by the complexity of two vignettes in particular during the actual exam. In fact, there was a point in which I thought I passed the remaining portions of the exam and got nailed on the vignettes.

    Of course, if you fail any portion of the orals, you fail the entire thing. So I would agree with giving it some time to ensure you know what to say and to know what they're looking for.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009
  10. erewon

    erewon

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    Thanks for the info,
    It seems that these courses are a waste of money in the long run...
  11. michaelrack

    michaelrack All In at the wrong time SDN Advisor

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    Is that still true?? I though that at one point the oral boards had switched to a point system where if you did really well on on one part of the orals and barely flunked another, it was still possible to pass.

    The oral boards are changing so much it's hard to keep track of.
  12. Anasazi23

    Anasazi23 Your Digital Ruler Moderator Emeritus

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    Well, you can perform sub-par on certain aspects within an exam type (i.e. poor differential in the live patient), but if you fail either the live patient or the vignettes, you fail the entire thing.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2009
  13. OldPsychDoc

    OldPsychDoc Senior Curmudgeon Moderator Emeritus SDN Advisor

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    The other problem is there's no feedback given, so you don't know what you did!
  14. Anasazi23

    Anasazi23 Your Digital Ruler Moderator Emeritus

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    Right. I think you can pay some money ($150?) and they send you a sheet of paper indicating what aspect you failed, but it's not informative in any other way.
  15. psychdoc07

    psychdoc07

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    I have another question for all of you..How does the PRITE exam compare to Part I of the boards? Right now I am averaging 60% correct on psych and 55% correct on neuro but I have about 2 years left before I complete residency. Even with these percentages I am in the 16th percentile when compared with other psych residents in my class across the nation. Am I on the track based on my % right vs. wrong or do I need to start praying now??
  16. skipandgo

    skipandgo

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    I am curious as well as to how the PRITE scores correlate with part 1 of the boards. Also, how long do individuals prepare for the exam? I understand it will vary from person to person, but after querying some of my colleagues who have completed boards they stated 1-2 months. And, what is the pass rate for part 1 of the boards?
  17. Anasazi23

    Anasazi23 Your Digital Ruler Moderator Emeritus

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    I don't know the correlation stats, but I think the PRITE does not correlate well with the actual board exam scores - for a variety of reasons:

    1. I don't think the PRITE questions are of the same quality of test the same content of the boards. I found the PRITE to test minutae, theory, history, and vague neurology, while I found the boards to be much more straight-forward clinical psychiatry and bread-and-butter neurology.

    2. I think studying for the actual boards, complete with the $1000 (I forget the exact cost or Part I) creates a motivating factor. Studying for the PRITE, if you do at all, does not offer the adaptive true test anxiety.

    3. I scored much higher on the actual boards than on the PRITE. However, I know people that bombed the PRITE and subsequently failed part I of the boards as well. I think that if you tend to do well on M.C. type tests, and study, you'll score high, and vice versa.

    This is, of course, just opinion.
  18. Shrink86

    Shrink86

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    I took my Oral Boards in 2009 and passed on my first try. I think it comes down to managing your anxiety during test time. The key is to do plenty of mock orals with faculty, colleagues and REAL patients, which is what you get on your boards.

    I also have useful study materials that helped:

    Boarding Time, 3rd edition, Munoz and Morrison
    Clinical Study Guide for Oral Boards, second edition, Strahl
    Beat the Boards Fast track manuals and CD, DVDs

    I can give you this stuff for cheap, $500, OBO. I live in SF bay area. you can pick up in person or pay for shipping.

    Good luck on the boards!!!
    Last edited: May 13, 2010
  19. Psych Doctor

    Psych Doctor

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    I have taken both Beat the Board and Oslar course. I would highly recommend Oslar board review course for part 2 exam. It is more personal and more interactive.
  20. Manicsleep

    Manicsleep

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    Skip the Oakstone. Its pretty weak. I think their best product is the oral stuff they produce for MKSAP (Internal medicine).
    They do have a money back policy which I used and they did give me back my money.

    I used only 3 things for my psychiatry boards and I did fairly well.

    1) 4 years of PRITE questions. This was about 10% free answers and another 15% almost free.
    2) Clinical Neurology for Psychiatrists: Everyone should have this.
    3) Psychiatry Test Preparation by Spiegel: 4 tests with 150 questions and then detailed answers to the questions, including why the wrong answers are wrong. (so its really like 3000 questions because they explain A to E). The 4 test format allows you to take the tests in a manner that lets you test your knowledge. My score went up after every test.

    I didnt take anything for the orals although I knew 2 examiners and 3 ex examiners and I made them give me orals exams daily with a patient for 4 weeks prior to the test.
    8 exams in 4 weeks and I passed although I was still anxious :confused: (who knows, some things you cant study away I guess).
  21. ForensicDoc

    ForensicDoc

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    I have a batch of books for ABPN Psychiatry Step I that I'd like to offer for sale as a complete set. These are a combination of question books and review texts, and comprise all one would need and more to pass the Adult Psychiatry ABPN Step I test easily.

    the 8 books are:
    neurology recall
    focus psychiatry review:400 self assessment questions
    psychiatry:1200 questions to help you pass the boards
    psychiatry for the boards
    psychiatry test preparation (Spiegel and Kennedy with CD rom to simulate actual test)
    MGH psychiatry update and board preparation
    pearls of wisdom: psychiatry board review
    weisberg neurology for the psychiatry board review

    Buy them all new and you are looking at 610 dollars. I'll sell them AS A UNIT for 300.
    Email me if interested. [email protected]
  22. Majesty

    Majesty

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    I registered for the Oral exams in Pittsburgh in October...I think.
    I paid the money last month but it doesn't say where I am going or anything. Can anyone help me with their experience about the oral boards process? When do you find out where you are going etc?
    Can you call them and find out? They don't seem very friendly on the phone. The reason I am asking is I want to sign up for the Beat the Boards course the week before.

    I feel like I am missing something. HELP!!
  23. Manicsleep

    Manicsleep

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    Just call them. They can tell you.
    Otherwise, about 6 weeks? before the test you get a letter saying when your test is. That is all I remember.
  24. MDhasbeen

    MDhasbeen shrinkie dink

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    there's also a new First Aid book for the psych boards part I. i liked the first aid series for step 1 of usmle. saw this online a month or so before my exam and figured, well, why not? while i did some of the questions from the spiegel book, i felt it wasn't as comprehensive and cohesive as i would've liked my review to be. so i opted to spend an extra $70. this text started out with a breakdown of what the exam itself is like including a precise percentage value of the categories of the questions you will be given (it's verbatim from the results form you will get with your score). i really liked the pearls. more than one of those side bar pearls were on my exam! the psych section was basically a condensed dsm-iv review. others might disagree, but i personally thought the neuro section was about as good as it gets for a text of that size. i'm a slow reader but i still managed to get through the whole thing in a couple weeks at a comfortable pace. and, all things considered, i'd say that this is probably comparable to a review course for those who are able and motivated to study independently. just the sticker price of those review courses alone had me more than motivated to cram with this book! at any rate, i somehow aced the neuro portion, which i think the first aid book helped me greatly with. psych i did almost as well on. for this past round of part I takers, all you needed to pass neuro was a 63% while they wanted 72% in psych. so don't underestimate how much psych you need to know! i'd definitely supplement the first aid book with more psych material, especially psychology-related history, development stuff, the psychology tests etc..

    onto part II in sept of 2011, then! eeep.
  25. ForensicShrink

    ForensicShrink

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    Hi, do you still have them?
  26. ForensicShrink

    ForensicShrink

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    Hi, do you still have them? I'm interested. Cheers
  27. GroverPsychMD

    GroverPsychMD Gold Donor

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    Hello,

    I am taking the 1st part next year and would like to buy the Kaufman notes.

    Thanks in advance!

    :love:
  28. nitemagi

    nitemagi Senior Member

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    Update for residency graduates that started July 1, 2007 or later...

    We already knew that the oral boards were being phased out. But turns out the certification exam, essentially the reinvention of the written boards, will not be available until the fall after we graduate. Essentially September 2011.

    This is to be distinguished from all prior years when the written test can be taken in May. I guess for those who've already graduated but haven't taken the tests, part 1 and 2 will still exist for the next few years, just not for new graduates.
  29. GroverPsychMD

    GroverPsychMD Gold Donor

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    The Kaufman notes are from which course? For the first step, which course is the best? Does osler offer online courses?
  30. Manicsleep

    Manicsleep

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    The written test at the end of PGY4 is a fairly new phenomenon. The old format will remain for at least 3-4 more years. After that the few people left may have to do it regionally.
  31. Psychiatrypd

    Psychiatrypd

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    The last time I looked at the literature, if your PRITE score was below the 30th percentile, you were not too likely to pass your boards. So get your scores up.
  32. shrinkforfun

    shrinkforfun

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  33. skipandgo

    skipandgo

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    :sleep:
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010
  34. prominence

    prominence Senior Member

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    Here are the resources I used for the board certification process:

    Written

    1. Massachusetts General Hospital Psychiatry Update & Board Preparation 2nd Edition by Theodore A. Stern and John B. Herman

    2. Clinical Neurology for Psychiatrists 6th Edition by David M. Kauffman

    3. Focus Psychiatry Review: 400 Self Assessment Questions by Deborah J. Hales and Mark H. Rapaport

    4. Psychiatry Test Preparation and Review Manual by John C. Spiegel and John M. Kenny

    5. Psychiatry for the Boards by William W. Wang and Wen-Hui Cai

    6. Psychiatry: 1200 Questions to Help You Pass the Boards by Maju Mathews, Kumar Budur, Biju Basil and Manu Mathews


    Oral

    1. Clinical Study Guide for the Oral Boards in Psychiatry by Nathan R. Strahl

    2. Boarding Time 4th Edition, The Psychiatry Candidate's New Guide to Part II of the ABPN Examination by James Morrison and
    Rodrigo A. Munoz

    3. "The Ultimate" Psychiatry Oral Board Preparation: Preparatory Manual of Style, 2nd Edition by John C. Spiegel

    4. Passing Strategies: A Helpful Guide for the Psychiatry Oral Exam by Michael G. Rayel

    5. Cases Files Psychiatry, Third Edition by Eugene C. Toy and Debra Klamen (this book is intended for third year medical students,
    but I found it helpful reading through the case vignettes and the case discussions)

    6. The Biopsycosocial Formulation Manual, A guide for Mental Health Professionals by William H. Campbell and Robert M. Rohrbaugh

    7. The Beat the Boards! Psychiatry Oral Manual by Jack Krasuski (I found the following sections helpful: Oral Board Case Presentation, from pages 123-176; Vignettes Section, to understand the format, from pages 195-233; Review of Psychiatric Clinical Management, from pages 237-257; The section on the Review of the Psychotherapies was the most helpful for me, from 259-312)

    8. Dr. Jack's MedQuik Guide, A Psychotropic Medication Guide for Board Exam Preparation by Jack Krasuski

    9. Beat the Boards! Live Course: I felt that the overall course was impersonal, and did not offer much additional content beyond the written manual. But the most beneficial aspect of Dr. Krasuski's course is that each person gets a live patient interview and a live set of four vignettes which are graded by an examiner, with complete feedback afterwards. I took the course five months before my actually oral boards, and I found the critique from my performances most helpful in my exam preparation. These were the only practice exams I was able to schedule during my preparation, and from this perspective, the live exams made the price of the course worthwhile for me. Watching others during their live interviews and vignettes and listening to their examiners' critiques was also helpful for me to observe.


    The list of resources I used for each exam is definitely overkill when I look back at the whole experience. I intentionally overprepared for my own piece of mind. Nothing surprised me when I took the written and oral psychiatry board exams.

    I passed the written exam easily on my first try. The written exam is a much more objective exam than the PRITE exams. I did embarrassingly poor on my first PRITE exam as an intern, but significantly improved with each year thereafter. I would put some stock in the PGY-4 PRITE score with regards to which areas of weakness to address.

    The oral exam vignettes are pretty straightforward. I had a challenging patient for my live interview, and I was sure I had failed because I had forgotten simple things I otherwise do routinely, secondary to my anxiety. But I was fortunate and relieved to have passed the oral boards on my first try. Thirty minutes to interview a patient, and then another thirty minutes to perform a case presentation, mental status exam, formulation, differential diagnosis and treatment plan, while allowing enough time to answer the examiners' questions is a challenging task given the time constraints. A candidate's anxiety and failure to perform an adequate safety assessment are probably the two main reasons people fail this exam. My advice would be to try to get at least a few mock oral exams (i.e. supervised patient interviews, followed by you presenting the case and answering questions from a colleague or mentor, and then obtaining their constructive feedback; it is preferable to seek such assistance from a psychiatrist who has recently gone through the board certification process) under your belt prior to your oral board exam.

    Best of luck to everyone going through this stressful process!
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2010
  35. atsai3

    atsai3

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    I have a question about the Beat The Boards Home Study materials. Can someone tell me if there is an actively-enforced "no resale" policy on these? Just curious. For such an expensive set of test prep materials I would have expected there to be an active market for used copies on e-Bay or Half.com, but I just searched and found zilch.

    I guess it could just be that the secondary market consists primarily of in-person exchanges and posted advertisements in hospital corridors, but in this day and age I would have expected to see at least a few listings somewhere in cyberspace.

    Thanks,
    -AT.
  36. Andrea33333

    Andrea33333

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  37. nitemagi

    nitemagi Senior Member

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    Reminder that registration for boards is due Feb 1st, 2011. By mail only, it seems. Meaning even though we're not taking the test until September, the registration is due in 2 weeks (a letter from your residency, copy of your license, application, and check for $3k). Late fee of $500! They really know how to squeeze every last cent...
  38. AmericanPhysici

    AmericanPhysici

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    We are very glad that so many people have found our Beat The Boards program helpful. There seems to be some discussion going on pertaining to our Resale Policy.

    According to the "Terms and Conditions" that the purchaser agreed to upon the sale, the materials are for use of the purchaser only.

    Per our Terms and Conditions:

    "The registrant hereby agrees and accepts that all course materials for both live and home study courses are solely for individual use and not for resale."

    To make sure that we bring the best study materials to you, we do actively enforce this policy. If you are interested in our courses, we'd urge you go review the information on our site at www.beattheboards.com.

    Thank you,

    The American Physician Institute.
  39. Manicsleep

    Manicsleep

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    Sell them
    They will sell you this stuff over the phone. There is no agreed to and accepted policy.

    I didn't agree to it and I sold mine. The person who bought it from me sold it as well.
  40. DannyC

    DannyC

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  41. DannyC

    DannyC

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    There are also several good posts with tips for passing the psychiatry board certification exams on www.Sermo.com, which physicians can join for free if you've got a state license.
  42. danzx8

    danzx8

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    Hello,
    Is anyone aware of any new books/study guides on the new format certification exam starting this year?
  43. Afrikyn

    Afrikyn

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    Does anyone have recommendations for a good qbank style of practice questions for the new boards? I am hoping for something that I can access online and from my phone.
  44. psychgeek1

    psychgeek1

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    How hard would you say is the road to becoming a board certified psychiatrist?
  45. ssrnh

    ssrnh New Member

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    @
    Last edited: May 8, 2014
  46. munnabhaiMD

    munnabhaiMD

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    Im taking it next week...yes, its kind of anxiety provoking not knowing the passing rate....does anyone know the average passing rate for written part?
  47. Manicsleep

    Manicsleep

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    Because you failed it once already or have they changed the date again?
    Retesters, late testers etc are at a disadvantage usually and have lower rates of passing.

    High prite scores correlate very well with passing as do low scores. Middle scores don't tell you much.
  48. nitemagi

    nitemagi Senior Member

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    Physician Faculty SDN 10+ Year Member
    As of residency graduates who began in 2007 or later, oral boards are eliminated (equivalent oral exams done during residency), and 1 board exam is done in the fall after training is complete (September).
  49. itooktheexam

    itooktheexam

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    I just took the new pattern exam on Sep 15, 2011.Part 1 ( Basic Psychiatry & Neurology) was straight forward. I dont know how, others found the exam. but I found the second part " Clinical Psychiatyry" damn tough. Also I had major problem with time. 250 questions in 250 mins. There were video vignettes of 3-4 mins duration and there was no extra time provided to watch the videos. Also on most of the questions, I was asked to choose two to three options. I did beattheboards and was confident before the exam but now I just feel miserable. I feel that the chance that I pass, is meagre.
  50. nitemagi

    nitemagi Senior Member

    Joined:
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    Los Angeles, CA
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    Attending Physician
    Physician Faculty SDN 10+ Year Member
    The exam was definitely different. 245 minutes for 250 questions, with video vignettes. The most annoying was that the media player for the videos didn't allow for scrubbing (fast forwarding or rewinding). So you had to watch the whole thing each time. I ended up taking notes on the vignette, like I would an actual clinical interview. I did have to playback some interviews over again.

    You're not the first person I heard who ran out of time. I did ok with about a half hour to spare, some colleagues I know ran out of time, and another had 2 minutes left. Plus some of the vignette's were a little unrealistic (their hospitalization criteria were pretty soft), and not all answer choices matched up properly. There was one question that asked about information that was clearly not in the vignette, and I watched the 5 minute vignette three times to try to figure it out! Alas, if we have to drop another 3k on it next year, at least we'll know what to study for.

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