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So, if we're being honest....what's the point of this exam? All of us "board eligible" attendings will continue to practice while waiting in limbo for our 2021 exam date. In that time we will, on average, perform adequately....just like we will do after eventually passing orals. We didn't need the board to bless us with their approval to do so. There will be some bad anesthesiologists and some great anesthesiologists who will all eventually pass the exam. I'm just wondering why we have to put ourselves through the financial and emotional stress of it, when in reality....it does not make the field of anesthesiology safer.
Because they have us by the balls unfortunately, but I agree with 100% of what you said!
 
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JoelJoel84

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Simple solution would be for 2020, if you passed the written boards, then you've thus passed the boards and are board-certified.

Many of us need this designation for jobs, hospital accreditation, and/or subspecialty boards eligibility.

Re-evaluate in spring 2021, or drop the orals altogether.
 
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Unbelievable, exams cancelled for the reminder of the year. They put their foot down 3 weeks ago to push forward and then retract fewer than 10 days pre-exam after tens of thousands spent on lost income, flights purchased and study materials. Clearly, this is how low they value their physicians and this low of a priority this exam is for them. They had months to prepare and make this exam a video conference. I will request a refund. I just can’t see them getting through double the amount of exams next year when they’re already this dysfunctional.
Aba website still says they will proceed with week 7.5 as a pilot, I guess that changed again at the very last minute?
Other than money, is there any reason for them to be this stressful and thoughtless? Many specialties do not require oral exam for board certification.
Model after Canada and let go of oral boards/osce until this pandemic is over!
 
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anbuitachi

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Because they have us by the balls unfortunately, but I agree with 100% of what you said!
Simple solution would be for 2020, if you passed the written boards, then you've thus passed the boards and are board-certified.

Many of us need this designation for jobs, hospital accreditation, and/or subspecialty boards eligibility.

Re-evaluate in spring 2021, or drop the orals altogether.
Aba website still says they will proceed with week 7.5 as a pilot, I guess that changed again at the very last minute?
Other than money, is there any reason for them to be this stressful and thoughtless? Many specialties do not require oral exam for board certification.
Model after Canada and let go of oral boards/osce until this pandemic is over!

We need more people to speak up and contact them directly.
This is ridiculous and kind of unprofessional. ASA advertises when seconds count anesthesiologists save lives. These folks wait until there are no more seconds left.

Anyone think contacting ASA would help advocate? It is supposed to advocate for us... The issue is likely wont get a huge N since it only so far applies/affects 2020 test takers. I dont even care if ABA keeps the fee
 
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nimbus

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We need more people to speak up and contact them directly.
This is ridiculous and kind of unprofessional. ASA advertises when seconds count anesthesiologists save lives. These folks wait until there are no more seconds left.

Anyone think contacting ASA would help advocate? It is supposed to advocate for us... The issue is likely wont get a huge N since it only so far applies/affects 2020 test takers. I dont even care if ABA keeps the fee

ASA and ABA are separate.
 

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Their lack of respect for our time and effort is disheartening. After studying for months, working during a pandemic, and carving out time from our schedule to take this test, we have to wait until next year to do this all over...
 
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anbuitachi

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perhaps send in an advocacy request to [email protected] for them to advocate on our behalf.
the petition to change or waive the exam has reached 1700 signatures and has been ignored by ABA. not sure what else we can do. Would only take a couple minutes
 
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anbuitachi

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Demand refunds for exam fees- they’ve already had it a year and now will for 2 with no rescheduled date or alternative plan in sight. Or as one prior poster said, call your credit card and dispute the charge.

part of me is concerned that if everyone starts doing that they will be lacking funds, which means they will add oral exam part 3 and double the fees to make up for their lack of funding.
 
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part of me is concerned that if everyone starts doing that they will be lacking funds, which means they will add oral exam part 3 and double the fees to make up for their lack of funding.

Focusing on the exam fee also minimizes the MUCH larger opportunity cost of studying, scheduling, taking time off, and annoyance of shifting call schedules in anticipation of exams that were ultimately cancelled last minute. Hindsight is 20/20 but the ABA has been stubbornly slow to react. The oral boards are supposed to test your ability to have adequate backup plans and adapt to rapidly changing situations in a systematic, controlled, and safe manner. They have slowly failed their mission statement.

Keep the fee to continue funding the board. Grandfather us in based on writtens for the year. Proceed with orals virtually for the next cohort.
 
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Class action suit? I agree the fee is annoying but the time and issues with credentialing especially now is the worst of it. They really need to do what Canada did and certify all those who passed the written.
 
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anbuitachi

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Class action suit? I agree the fee is annoying but the time and issues with credentialing especially now is the worst of it. They really need to do what Canada did and certify all those who passed the written.

Who has the money for class action lawsuit? It will also drag on for years probably. Most likely scenario is to either all email the directors of ABA, or get ASA to support their members and do something
 
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Can't see why a group of driven, intelligent physicians can't come together in a collective and collaborative effort to assert ourselves to the ABA more effectively? Whether it be a formalized petition with the assistance of the ASA or if it comes down to it, a class-action lawsuit.
 
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Just administer the stupid exam. Its not as if the examiners or examinees are social distancing anymore. They are all practicing anesthesiologists....
 

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Just administer the stupid exam. Its not as if the examiners or examinees are social distancing anymore. They are all practicing anesthesiologists....

why arent they social distancing? everyone is supposed to social distance. at work we social distance and we have mask on. Department meetings are now virtual
 
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dannyboy1

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What? I can’t tell if this is a joke or not.
Why would it be a joke. Let’s be real, in our work lives we are not practicing social distancing. Our office is fairly small and we all hang out there without masks. We intubate random people. And that is just at work. Most people I know are out and about and going to restaurants, the beach on the weekend, gyms ect. Somehow the oral boards are too dangerous to administer???
 
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anbuitachi

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Why would it be a joke. Let’s be real, in our work lives we are not practicing social distancing. Our office is fairly small and we all hang out there without masks. We intubate random people. And that is just at work. Most people I know are out and about and going to restaurants, the beach on the weekend, gyms ect. Somehow the oral boards are too dangerous to administer???


must be a situational thing.. cause that is definitely not true where i am at. perhaps you are in a less impacted region? or perhaps just not following recommendations.

our office is small too. We wear surgical masks, some of us wear N95s inside the office. All intubations are done with N95 + eye protection, and every intubated patient gets a Hepa filter. There's not much hanging out at work, since we are working. Theres no lounge. Restaurants/Gyms here are CLOSED except for some outdoor sitting areas.
 
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I agree with class-action lawsuit. There is no plan and no direction on the part of the ABA regarding this exam. Not to mention everyone will continue to practice anesthesia while not being board-certified - so what is the point of certification? Residency/fellowship is what makes someone a good anesthesiologist not a esoteric, subjective test given over a couple hours. If board certification is important then it should be required before one does ANY cases on their own. Either administer virtually NOW or give automatic certification with passage of the written... or class-action lawsuit.
 
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anbuitachi

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I agree with class-action lawsuit. There is no plan and no direction on the part of the ABA regarding this exam. Not to mention everyone will continue to practice anesthesia while not being board-certified - so what is the point of certification? Residency/fellowship is what makes someone a good anesthesiologist not a esoteric, subjective test given over a couple hours. If board certification is important then it should be required before one does ANY cases on their own. Either administer virtually NOW or give automatic certification with passage of the written... or class-action lawsuit.

but whats your solution to the courts being severely backed up due to covid, and no result will effectly be passed on your lawsuit for a LONG time. by then they'll be administering tests again cause it'll be 2025
 
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MikeMerk-MtS

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Why would it be a joke. Let’s be real, in our work lives we are not practicing social distancing. Our office is fairly small and we all hang out there without masks. We intubate random people. And that is just at work. Most people I know are out and about and going to restaurants, the beach on the weekend, gyms ect. Somehow the oral boards are too dangerous to administer???
Just because your workplace doesn't care doesn't mean other workplaces don't either. Maybe you need to find a better place to work?
 
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Just because your workplace doesn't care doesn't mean other workplaces don't either. Maybe you need to find a better place to work?
All I’m asking for at this point is a simple test date (which they won’t even give us) & a contingency plan should it get cancelled again (which they also won’t give us). Very simple and basic things honestly. Give us a test date, and have a virtual exam back up for the same day if travel becomes too dangerous again. Despite how pointless most of us know this exam is, we know they won’t give us a free pass bc there’s too much $$$ involved they’re depending on from us.
 
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In the webinar, they at one point said "we can't afford not to test." I was mostly just impressed with that degree of honesty.

It's definitely not about the $ for me at this point; heck, I'd give them MORE money if they just stopped jerking this year's candidates around and wasting our time.
 
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In the webinar, they at one point said "we can't afford not to test." I was mostly just impressed with that degree of honesty.

It's definitely not about the $ for me at this point; heck, I'd give them MORE money if they just stopped jerking this year's candidates around and wasting our time.

that's a ridiculous reason for testing. do you remember around what part of the webinar they said that?

tell them to start a gofundme page
 
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DaisyBuchanan

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that's a ridiculous reason for testing. do you remember around what part of the webinar they said that?

tell them to start a gofundme page
I rewatched it to make sure I gave accurate info. Here are the approximate timestamps for things I found interesting:
23:00 - said they were already working to double the size of the testing center before COVID (aka why they really need our $)
35:00 - said "we can't afford... to have people (candidates) in limbo for that long". So not exactly what I thought he said, but within context seemed like he was actually talking about money
51:00 - acknowledged that he has heard of the petition for virtual oral boards, but earlier cited the ABA's strong preference for in-person testing
57:00 - was asked about grandfathering in the 2020 cohort; essentially said it would cheapen our profession.
 

anbuitachi

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I rewatched it to make sure I gave accurate info. Here are the approximate timestamps for things I found interesting:
23:00 - said they were already working to double the size of the testing center before COVID (aka why they really need our $)
35:00 - said "we can't afford... to have people (candidates) in limbo for that long". So not exactly what I thought he said, but within context seemed like he was actually talking about money
51:00 - acknowledged that he has heard of the petition for virtual oral boards, but earlier cited the ABA's strong preference for in-person testing
57:00 - was asked about grandfathering in the 2020 cohort; essentially said it would cheapen our profession.

i watched half of it, got annoyed by a lot of his non answers so i stopped watching it. maybe i'll finish it later.
i especially didnt like how he said they already changed the guidelines of the subspecialty exam so that they can take the exam without passing the applied, except the results wont be released until you pass the applied. amazing solution for all the fellows out there needing board certification



someone needs to tell them that no one will care if they grandfather the 2020 cohort due to covid. if they were truly against cheapening our profession, they wouldnt have grandfathered people into specialty boards without fellowship. and also their current behavior is cheapening our profession
 
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I really think allowing subspecialty exams is another way for them to get more of our money
 
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They called each of the 7.5 people to apologize for cancelling the test. I told them that their actions thus far have been unprofessional. They are operating under the assumption that somehow in 2021 things will be better which is the same assumption that got us here in the first place. For some of us the 2021 exam will be the third time they will have made us study for this stupid exam. I told them that the only power they have is that we have no other option than them for board certification. Of course they just kept saying “sorry this is a difficult time for everyone”
 
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anbuitachi

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They called each of the 7.5 people to apologize for cancelling the test. I told them that their actions thus far have been unprofessional. They are operating under the assumption that somehow in 2021 things will be better which is the same assumption that got us here in the first place. For some of us the 2021 exam will be the third time they will have made us study for this stupid exam. I told them that the only power they have is that we have no other option than them for board certification. Of course they just kept saying “sorry this is a difficult time for everyone”

Who called. The secretary at their office?

But thanks. i feel like everyone should be doing that.
 

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Just administer the stupid exam. Its not as if the examiners or examinees are social distancing anymore. They are all practicing anesthesiologists....

Seems like it would be easy enough to sit 10 feet apart, wear a mask, put up some big plexiglass dividers, and administer the exam.
 
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My guess is that while they dont want to give up money but also dont have enough examiners willing to risk their health and administer exams to candidates from all over US.
I saw how they were trying to get more examiners for 2021 so they are going to have a lot of "new" examiners next year making this very subjective, luck of the draw exam even more subjective. So many ways to torture us!

I also think unless something drastic happens like someone getting deadly ill while trying to administer or take this exam, they are not going to change anything. So sad.

Why did they need a fancy new building??
 
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My worst feared scenario is to get exposed to covid during travel and become symptomatic the day of exam, thus not allowed to take the exam but can't go home...
 
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Just a thought, if they don’t want to administer the exam to us virtually for fear of someone sitting in the room off camera and examiners don’t want the risk of travel, why not reverse the virtual roles. I’m more than willing to travel to their little room in North Carolina and have someone give me the exam via Zoom from the safety of their own home. The board should be able to trust the examiners to administer the exam remotely.
 
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Just a thought, if they don’t want to administer the exam to us virtually for fear of someone sitting in the room off camera and examiners don’t want the risk of travel, why not reverse the virtual roles. I’m more than willing to travel to their little room in North Carolina and have someone give me the exam via Zoom from the safety of their own home. The board should be able to trust the examiners to administer the exam remotely.
That’s a pretty damn good ideal!
 
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I realize I’m a little unique but I can drive there within 6-8 hrs and not interact with anyone other than getting gas and other essentials. They are making this more difficult than it needs to be by having only one solution for all. I realize this isn’t a solution for everyone but it is a solution for more than a few. It’s not completely fair to everyone but COVID isn’t fair either. Reverse virtual exam would ease the backlog for the board and ease the burden for those that require air travel to North Carolina, examiners and test takers alike.
 

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With the 2020 oral board group, passing the written boards should qualify you for board certification this year. I realize it is easy to write off this oral board subthread, but hear me out on why it is so important to our whole specialty.

For those who are already board certified, remember how intimidating oral boards were. Many people spent months and months studying for it, sacrificing time with family and friends. Now imagine that 5 days before your exam, they cancel the test and not update you for almost 100 days. When they finally update you, they have no definite plan in effect and they hope to get you tested within the next year, although that cannot be guaranteed. The pandemic is still going strong with no end in sight. The majority of test takers need to fly to NC which puts you at a high risk. Flying may expose you, your family, your children to Covid. On top of that, many employers require mandatory quarantines after travel. Some people are being punished by not getting board certified with specialty exams. Some people are getting punished with partnership tracks because they are not board certified. You will now be 2-3 years out of residency before you can take oral boards... For the first time. For those who have already taken it, remember how much time and effort you put into taking this exam.

I'm only asking for a common sense solution to the roughly 1000 test takers this year. I have heard many different theories on how to modify the oral exam to get it proctored this year. The problem with this is... It is a modification to the standardized exam. Any modifications from baseline will change the controlled test scenario. Therefore it will not be standardized over time and shouldn't be compared to previous years. Even delaying it a full year assuming covid fully resolves means they are testing the 2020 class two years out of residency instead of one. It's not like this year's class has not been tested (they already took the written...)

I think the best answer is: attribute this year's certification to extraordinary events, pass everyone in 2020 who passed the written, and move on to the class of 2021 examination contingency plan.
 
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With the 2020 oral board group, passing the written boards should qualify you for board certification this year. I realize it is easy to write off this oral board subthread, but hear me out on why it is so important to our whole specialty.

For those who are already board certified, remember how intimidating oral boards were. Many people spent months and months studying for it, sacrificing time with family and friends. Now imagine that 5 days before your exam, they cancel the test and not update you for almost 100 days. When they finally update you, they have no definite plan in effect and they hope to get you tested within the next year, although that cannot be guaranteed. The pandemic is still going strong with no end in sight. The majority of test takers need to fly to NC which puts you at a high risk. Flying may expose you, your family, your children to Covid. On top of that, many employers require mandatory quarantines after travel. Some people are being punished by not getting board certified with specialty exams. Some people are getting punished with partnership tracks because they are not board certified. You will now be 2-3 years out of residency before you can take oral boards... For the first time. For those who have already taken it, remember how much time and effort you put into taking this exam.

I'm only asking for a common sense solution to the roughly 1000 test takers this year. I have heard many different theories on how to modify the oral exam to get it proctored this year. The problem with this is... It is a modification to the standardized exam. Any modifications from baseline will change the controlled test scenario. Therefore it will not be standardized over time and shouldn't be compared to previous years. Even delaying it a full year assuming covid fully resolves means they are testing the 2020 class two years out of residency instead of one. It's not like this year's class has not been tested (they already took the written...)

I think the best answer is: attribute this year's certification to extraordinary events, pass everyone in 2020 who passed the written, and move on to the class of 2021 examination contingency plan.
Amen!
Now how do we get aba to understand this?
I dont think they realize how stressed and burnt out people are.
 
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JelloIsJigglin

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With the 2020 oral board group, passing the written boards should qualify you for board certification this year. I realize it is easy to write off this oral board subthread, but hear me out on why it is so important to our whole specialty.

For those who are already board certified, remember how intimidating oral boards were. Many people spent months and months studying for it, sacrificing time with family and friends. Now imagine that 5 days before your exam, they cancel the test and not update you for almost 100 days. When they finally update you, they have no definite plan in effect and they hope to get you tested within the next year, although that cannot be guaranteed. The pandemic is still going strong with no end in sight. The majority of test takers need to fly to NC which puts you at a high risk. Flying may expose you, your family, your children to Covid. On top of that, many employers require mandatory quarantines after travel. Some people are being punished by not getting board certified with specialty exams. Some people are getting punished with partnership tracks because they are not board certified. You will now be 2-3 years out of residency before you can take oral boards... For the first time. For those who have already taken it, remember how much time and effort you put into taking this exam.

I'm only asking for a common sense solution to the roughly 1000 test takers this year. I have heard many different theories on how to modify the oral exam to get it proctored this year. The problem with this is... It is a modification to the standardized exam. Any modifications from baseline will change the controlled test scenario. Therefore it will not be standardized over time and shouldn't be compared to previous years. Even delaying it a full year assuming covid fully resolves means they are testing the 2020 class two years out of residency instead of one. It's not like this year's class has not been tested (they already took the written...)

I think the best answer is: attribute this year's certification to extraordinary events, pass everyone in 2020 who passed the written, and move on to the class of 2021 examination contingency plan.

Preaching to the choir.
Write this up to the ABA and let's get some signatures!
 
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anbuitachi

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With the 2020 oral board group, passing the written boards should qualify you for board certification this year. I realize it is easy to write off this oral board subthread, but hear me out on why it is so important to our whole specialty.

For those who are already board certified, remember how intimidating oral boards were. Many people spent months and months studying for it, sacrificing time with family and friends. Now imagine that 5 days before your exam, they cancel the test and not update you for almost 100 days. When they finally update you, they have no definite plan in effect and they hope to get you tested within the next year, although that cannot be guaranteed. The pandemic is still going strong with no end in sight. The majority of test takers need to fly to NC which puts you at a high risk. Flying may expose you, your family, your children to Covid. On top of that, many employers require mandatory quarantines after travel. Some people are being punished by not getting board certified with specialty exams. Some people are getting punished with partnership tracks because they are not board certified. You will now be 2-3 years out of residency before you can take oral boards... For the first time. For those who have already taken it, remember how much time and effort you put into taking this exam.

I'm only asking for a common sense solution to the roughly 1000 test takers this year. I have heard many different theories on how to modify the oral exam to get it proctored this year. The problem with this is... It is a modification to the standardized exam. Any modifications from baseline will change the controlled test scenario. Therefore it will not be standardized over time and shouldn't be compared to previous years. Even delaying it a full year assuming covid fully resolves means they are testing the 2020 class two years out of residency instead of one. It's not like this year's class has not been tested (they already took the written...)

I think the best answer is: attribute this year's certification to extraordinary events, pass everyone in 2020 who passed the written, and move on to the class of 2021 examination contingency plan.
We need a lot of signatures from our BC colleagues as well/possibly have them write up the actual petition.

There was a recent petition that reached like 1700 signatures about moving it to virtual. It was fairly well written, but they kind of just ignored it.

I th ink a new petition should be created to simply BC the 2020 class, with virtual as backup if they refuse. 2021 can do contingency plans. Include they dont even need to return the money, make it an administrative fee or something.
 
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anbuitachi

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The problem is the board has no incentive to do this for us. Why would they put us first?

Incentive would be they dont have to worry about testing 1500 people. I would say most people would even agree to have them keep the fee, to resolve this mess. So they do have an incentive.
 

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Amen!
Now how do we get aba to understand this?
I dont think they realize how stressed and burnt out people are.

They have no clue...
2020 group has one of the highest loans upon graduation, hundreds of thousands per person, with minimal savings
We graduate into a recession, and the worse pandemic in generations
Many of us have higher risk going to work with covid, and may be working longer hours especially in peak areas. Also have to deal with stress of possibly living away from family.
There is a lot of job insecurity, furlough, lack of work.
Not have BC only worsens this, delays/prevents us from getting raises, promotions, and even jobs itself .
Many of us have quarantine rules with the state or work after flying.
With all that, we have to somehow study, even multiple times, because they keep making changes last minute. Then they leave us dealing with canceling hotels, and plane tickets, etc.

None of them probably come close to understanding

In the webinar, they talked about how it would be unfair to previous groups who passed the Oral. This is just an excuse. Many senior anesthesiologists were grandfathered in subspecialty boards without a FELLOWSHIP. Just take a written exam. I would argue a 1 yr fellowship is worth way more than 1 oral exam.
Furthermore, they added OSCE and keeps adding more parts to it. Isn't it unfair to the previous groups, since they didnt have to take OSCE??

Im not good with writing at all. So i think someone good at it should write stuff up, get signatures, and also involve ASA.

Try emailing the president of teh ASA. She sends out monday emails every week. If enough people email (theres 1500 ppl affected, non anesthesiologists can email too), she should make a response
 
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MikeMerk-MtS

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I think getting the ASA involved may help. Does someone with better English then me want to right this up?
 

IkeBoy18

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Video from Warner. Claim to exam everyone by the end of next year. Virtual if necessary.

Sorry but Im over the virtual exam as well. By the end of 2021 it could potentially be almost 3 yrs since Ive done any anesthesia.
 
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So if covid continues to do it's up and down, then they will possibly go virtual. If virtual exam causes security problems or problems with fairness then what?
 

jm2010

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So if covid continues to do it's up and down, then they will possibly go virtual. If virtual exam causes security problems or problems with fairness then what?

We ALL have to adapt to Covid and future similar potential catastrophes. We have had a good run of BC years and BC of already prepared 2020 candidates is reasonable and as virtual Cohort; we are all sitting ducks here as bigger assault is happening daily from all angles. Ironically the oral test itself is about how fast you can adapt to the new unknown, not wait 1 hour or next year as it is now. Let's lead with example. Let's stand together and focus on what is really important.
 
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