The Good: The articles are highly relevant to good practice. Reading the articles will make you a better psychiatrist. It's not the esoteric stuff that's not useful.
The Bad: 3 out of the 4 articles I'd read and finished although passing all of them had 1 question where I was thinking "WTF?" I couldn't find the answer to the question despite the thing being open-book even me doing things that would make the exam far easier such as word-finds and rereading the portion of the article over and over and over.
E.g. one question you only would've figured out if you understood variable regression statistics, something that is not required in MD or psych residency level training. The article had the numerical results of the statistics but how can one interpret them without taking a 400 level statistics course that is not required?
Another question required you understand various psychotherapies to a degree where I do not find most psychiatrists having this level of knowledge. I happened to have it cause I have a psychology degree, and my wife has doctoral level training in psychotherapy, but many will look at the question and be like "WTF?"
What this translates into emotionally is when I hit the submit button to score I get a very suspenseful (not in a good way) feeling where I don't know if I passed the exam or not. You might say, "well you know you got 4 right so don't worry!" No, cause you can't walk into any exam expecting the questions to be easy or fair with regards to medical practice especially when you see 1 out of 5 questions not being in the original source material. This only leads me to suspect the author didn't know what he was doing and that the editor overlooked something obvious hurting my faith the questions are fair. While someone could also argue that you got a decent margin to fail the exam, 1-this is still a new thing and not yet field tested to be a good thing 2-By the time you've finished the questions you've likely spent about 2-3 hours reading the article and answering so it's major time wasted, and 3-ultimately you could've invested dozens of hours into this thing and then possibly have failed the entire MOC. Remember you pass 30 exams and they provide 40. What if you failed the 11th one, after doing all 40 of them? That would freaking suck and given that this thing is untested, this does cross my mind as possible.
Only 26 more opportunities to go to feel uncomfortable each time I hit the submit button!
I might change my mind later on but as bad as this is I'd still rather do it this way than take the actual recertification exam. This MOC thing is free. The articles could cost money but I can get them for at no cost using my APA membership that I pay for anyways. The articles are relevant to day-to-day practice and not some BS I'm never going to practically use.
Also if I took the recertification exam I'd have to cancel a day of work that'd be a loss of about $2000 in revenue and knowing me I'd likely spend several thousand doing a recertification course and have to take several more days off to go to that course also meaning several more thousands in lost revenue.
I've been tempted to reach out to other psychiatrists to, as a team effort, go over the questions that I could not answer despite the thing being open-book and me literally spending 2 hours on 1 question not being able to find the answer in an article that's about 7 pages of easy reading.
You can't. It's against the rules, but if someone could've freaking answered what the eff I was missing on the question that would've been nice.