loveumms

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I did a search and the last posting discussing board review courses was from 2007.

Just wanted to hear some feedback regarding board review courses. My department pays for the seniors to attend one review course for written boards and I'm trying to decide which one is best.

The choices are Jensen, Osler and Dannemiller.

Any suggestions/reviews are welcome. The websites are not terribly helpful in making the dcision from any of the courses.

Thanks!
 

hoyden

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It is a waste of money and time to go to the review course for the written part of the exams. You do not need any special training to pass them, except the resources already available.
Give it a try to get your department to pay for an oral board prep course - if your ITE scores are good enough you may bargain that you need the oral prep much more ( and it is true even if your scores are not high).

If is is not possible and your department refuses - take the longest one( it really does not matter by content) - it's your free time ))))
 

Narcotized

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It is a waste of money and time to go to the review course for the written part of the exams. You do not need any special training to pass them, except the resources already available.
Give it a try to get your department to pay for an oral board prep course - if your ITE scores are good enough you may bargain that you need the oral prep much more ( and it is true even if your scores are not high).
Agree 100%.
 

Narcotized

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If you have to spend money on Written Board Prep: Morgan and McHail, Hall, and old tests for far less than the cost of the course (If you feel wild and crazy then throw in Baby Miller as well). Put those in a suitcase and use the air and hotel cost of board prep to fly you to a sunny beach for a week to read them.
 

scoobydum

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Let me preface this by saying that there is NO perfect course.

I used Osler's written course on CD as my initial foundation for studying. The course is lecture and topic-based, so that worked out well for me. It cost a few hundred dollars. Some parts of Osler are stronger than others, and some are noticeably weak. I supplemented the Osler notes with my own notations from Barash, Miller, Hall, and even Jensen.

The key thing for the writtens, I think, is mainly that you have a system down for studying, keep at it diligently, and practice questions. Some people prefer Osler, and others swear by Jensen. Both definitely have gaps.

As I reviewed the Osler material over and reviewed my supplemental notes, I also added in notations from the questions i did in Hall, old released ABA exams, and old ACE exams lying around. I probably went through all the addended materials (with the Osler lecture notes as my foundation) several times, but by the time the exam came around, I knew most of the stuff pretty cold and did well on it.

People tend to harp on the importance of doing questions, and to be honest, they are right. I actually learned a lot from doing practice questions because even if i knew the answer, I still reviewed the wrong answers and why they were wrong. I probably did well over 2000 questions, and after doing a few hundred, you realize there are only a finite number of ways that they are going to ask about the same topic.

In the end though, you DO actually have to put in the work. And once you've done that, you'll be just fine. Hope this helps, and good luck to you.
 

CambieMD

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If you have to spend money on Written Board Prep: Morgan and McHail, Hall, and old tests for far less than the cost of the course (If you feel wild and crazy then throw in Baby Miller as well). Put those in a suitcase and use the air and hotel cost of board prep to fly you to a sunny beach for a week to read them.

Review courses for the written anesthesia exam are a waste of time and money. There is no mystery to the exam. Doing lots of questions, at least two thousand is very heigh yield. Jensen goes over questions. You stay home and do that.

Cambie
 

Frank Rizzo

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Pick which ever one is in Hawaii or the Caribbean. Have a nice vacation on your departments dime. Then review with tons of questions and your cumulative source of choice at home.
 

fabfive5

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Review courses for the written anesthesia exam are a waste of time and money. There is no mystery to the exam. Doing lots of questions, at least two thousand is very heigh yield. Jensen goes over questions. You stay home and do that.

Cambie
I agree that Jensen is not the miracle course, but I went to it. It MADE me focus on doing questions. I did his questions during the day, then afterwards did my other ACE questions. There were several questions on the real "quiz" directly from Jensen's course and the ACE questions. If you are like me and have a hard time focusing doing tons of questions, then the courses are great...albeit expensive. I would rather pay $1000 and pass the FIRST time (like I did) and not take the chance. I plan on taking the Ho course as well....maybe. :rolleyes:
 

gaspasser2004

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Remember studying for MCAT's? Most people I know took either Kaplan or Princeton Review. Why? Because unlike your esoteric college professors/textbooks, these courses taught to the test. Those Kaplan books were money - high yield all the way.

Remember studying for USMLE Step 1? Unless you were an IMG, practically no one you knew took a review course. Why? Even though med school curriculums are divergent, the knowledge tested on USMLE Step 1 is pretty much taught the same all over. Sure most people bought First Aid and/or Kaplan Q-bank, but very few people were shelling out a grand to go to a course.

Remember studying for anesthesia writtens? Most people I know read big blue and did questions on their own. Why pay an arm and a leg to let Jensen spoon feed you?

Remember studying for anesthesia orals? Many people I know took a review course. Why? Because no matter how much your residency tried to prepare you for oral boards, you probably don't have enough practice. I took the Ho course and I think the best part is the first 50 pages of his "workbook" that explains the philosophy/strategy of oral boards. Some people will disagree, but I also think that the big review book is also valuable. The actual live course is helpful to see other peoples' mistakes and to practice yourself.

The free market is usually right - follow the money when deciding when (and what) review course to take
 
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Agree wholeheartedly with gaspasser. if you know big blue or faust cold and read through the one you don't know cold to identify any gaps, do tons of questions from old exams including Hall, you should pass the writtens no problem. I always did not so great on the ITEs but then just did the above and kept to my study strategy, and the writtens were almost EASY. Every questions seemed to be a permutation of a question I had done in the process of studying the old exams and Hall. And I had outlined all of Faust and read through Big Blue once so the knowledge base was all there. Don't spend money on the writtens unless it's free money.

For the orals, though, regardless of whether you take a course, you need a forum to practice practice practice. I did ASA refresher course reading, Board Stiff 3, Yao and Artusio review (certain chapters) and then went to a weekly practice session offered by one of our attendings and that was enough. It's key to understand the format of the test. Good luck.
 

sevoflurane

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I'll second Jensen for the written and Ho for the Oral. You need to supplement Jensen with faust/hall. Do tons of questions, including retired ABA questions (lots of old repeats on my test). Re: Ho... the text is da bomb. I liked how detailed it got. However, the review course was a waste of my time- the only thing valuable to me were the mock orals + seeing other people take mock orals = confidence booster. If I could do it all over again, I would dissect the HO book + take mock orals. 8-12 exams is more than enough... I think.

This book is a waste of time and money:



I can cover a lot more material in a day than what you would cover in a day at the HO course. As always, focus on your weaknesses.

Preparation is key. Start preparing your PGY-1 and your test will be a breeze...

Good luck. :luck: :)