I think FFP sees people complaining about an exam and thinks we're exaggerating the amount of dumb questions and whining because it was hard, since that happens all the time.
I agree, this exam felt different - lazier, stupider, etc than other exams I've taken before. If he had taken it, I really think he would've been disgusted how little critical thinking and detailed knowledge of anesthetic practice was useful in answering the questions
I believe you guys. After every exam, this board sees a thread where people gripe about some esoteric BS WTF questions. But it really does sound like it was different this year.
I graduated and passed my boards before the Basic / Advanced split. In a way I'm glad to hear the Advanced exam isn't a rehash of "basic" topics like volatile agents and difficult airways. But it sounds like they may have missed the mark in making the Advanced exam difficult but relevant, and possibly produced an unfair exam.
In the late 2000s when I was a resident, I think the exam really was too easy ... just look at the published by-year norm tables and look at how many CA1s were getting passing scores on the ITE. This was a time when the ITE and the real exam were the same test ... you'd be sitting in a classroom as a resident filling in bubbles with a #2 pencil next to a new graduate filling in the same bubbles on the same test, but for actual board credit. Something like 1/5th of CA1s could pass the thing; it was too easy.
If an anesthesiologist can't pass the board exams in the UK or New Zealand ... can they still practice the specialty?
I totally agree that the exams should be difficult. I readily believe that other countries have more difficult anesthesia boards ... or maybe they'd just be more difficult to us
since they get a lot more CCM training than US residents do?
The problem is that hospitals and insurance companies in this
country have made board certification a near de-facto requirement to practice at all.
After completing medical school, internship, and residency, the bar to practice at all
shouldn't be set by the ABA.
It used to be that board certification in the USA was an extra badge of honor, and optional. Now that it's essentially a requirement, I can't really agree that the ABA should be making the test so difficult that more than 10-15% fail each year.