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Discussion in 'Pathology' started by Mace1370, May 22, 2017.

  1. Mace1370

    Physician

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    Gentlemen, tomorrow I depart for Tampa, FL. Wish me luck as I spend two days straight answering multiple choice questions and then drink myself into oblivion!
     
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  3. GU Path

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    Good luck!!! I am sure you will do great! I go next week. Let us know what you think of the exam.
     
  4. yaah

    yaah Boring
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    Remember there's a mall with a large food court right next store. Some people think the only place to eat is the panera or the chipotle, and they get in long lines and then stress and miss lunch.
     
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  5. Pathologee

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    Also remember that Panera can make you a lunch sandwich at 6am. Order early, put it in your room fridge and avoid the lines later.

     
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  6. Euchromatin

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    I scheduled lunch room service from the hotel kitchen for a specific delivery time in advance, so presumably that would still be an option too.
     
  7. yaah

    yaah Boring
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    We had lunch at the buffet at the embassy suites, worked really well.
     
  8. pianoguy05

    pianoguy05 Slide Oracle

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    I'm there next Wednesday-Thursday...if you folks don't hear from me after that, assume that I'm floating in the Gulf with the other garbage.

     
  9. bauber

    bauber Pathology yo

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    I go on June 14 & 15. I'm scared of cyto and terrified of CP...
     
  10. yaah

    yaah Boring
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    Just remember, it doesn't matter anyway because none of you will find jobs. Or if you do find jobs, they won't last and they won't pay you. But you can always burn your boards study materials for warmth.
     
  11. maji

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    Do not be afraid. Remember, the pass rate is like 90% for AP and CP, or at least last I had checked. There was one paper out there that said RISE scores correlate, as in, as long as you arent bottom quartile in rise you will pass. Of course, the RISE questions are very different from the boards, especially CP. Regarding lunch, depends on how fast of a test taker you are. I finished most blocks early, and they dont hold you in the room. So if you finish the AP written early you will beat everyone to panera. I ate panera for AP/CP and Cyto boards. The iced coffee was helpful.
     
  12. Mace1370

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    What a terrible two days. I couldn't fall asleep until about 1am on the night before AP. Luckily I was so tired after the first day that despite being anxious I went straight to bed.

    Day 1:
    The slides felt very fair overall. I looked at a lot of glass during residency and I think this prepared me well. There were definitely some odd balls, but only one or two cases felt like they were deliberately trying to trick you. Everything else on this part was really straightforward.

    The second block of AP kind of freaked me out because I was halfway through the 120 questions after only 20 minutes. I made a mental effort to answer the questions more slowly and to read everything carefully. Because there were no images on this part I felt like everything was very straightforward, either you know it or you don't, type stuff.

    The third part was hard, but fair. If I failed (hope not), then I know what to go back and review. On questions that I was unsure about I had at least heard of the entity or subject matter being discussed.

    Day 2:
    What a ****ty day. Part 1 was the "practical" CP test with a bunch of calculations and long complicated problems. I haven't seriously interpreted electrolyte panels since medical school, but apparently that is a necessary ability to practice pathology *eye roll*.

    Part 2 was similar to AP, very direct factoid type questions that you either know or don't. I don't remember feeling too horrible after this part.

    Part 3 is where the **** hit the fan. Oh my god, I have never felt so bad after an exam as I did after finishing this part. There was a ridiculous amount of heme which was super difficult and I'm good at heme (or at least I thought so). I was more worried about clinical chemistry when I walked in the door, but the heme stuff on this portion of the exam was insane. On many questions I had no idea what they were even getting at, which scared me because I can almost always at least figure out what the question writer is asking.

    I left the exam feeling pretty numb and honestly not sure if I passed or not. There were parts that felt doable and parts that felt like I couldn't pass them even if I had 10 years to study. Over the past couple weeks I've had the pleasure of ruminating on questions I know I missed. I keep telling myself that everybody goes through this, but it is seriously such a terrible experience made all the worse by the specter looming over you that you might have to study and take it again.
     
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  13. bauber

    bauber Pathology yo

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    Appreciate the feedback on your experience, sorry it was rough, but you probably passed...

    Can you elaborate a bit on the calculations? Did it require you to know formulas beyond what is in the back of the Compendium?
     
  14. terriermed

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    Thanks for the feedback, I take AP-only in a week and a half.

    One question for you about the slide portion. Outside of the few tricky questions, did you feel like the diagnoses were readily discernible without IHC? So often there are 2 or 3 entities that fall within the same morphologic spectrum and in real life you would do IHC to confirm. Small round blue cell tumors, other soft tissue lesions, even many GYN tumors when not absolutely classic. Would love to hear your feedback. Thanks!

     
  15. Autopsy101

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    Pretty sure everyone feels that way. That is why CP is the second day. If it was the first day, probably 1/2 of the people would not show up to finish the exam.:uhno:
     
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  17. Mace1370

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    It is very important to be able to distinguish similar entities using only H&E. The boards heavily emphasized this. When you study entities pay attention to the histologic clues on H&E that are specific for that diagnosis. This is extremely important for the AP test.
     
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  18. Mace1370

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    The formulas in the back of the compendium are very helpful and I was very glad I reviewed them the night before the exam. Make sure to look at them carefully though, because I found a few typos and errors on the formulas on that back page.
     
  19. terriermed

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    That makes sense, and is what I'm expecting. Thanks!

     
  20. yaah

    yaah Boring
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    Reminder: Please do not post specifics about the exam. This is a violation of the test taking protocol. If you are in doubt about whether anything is too specific, don't post it (or delete it).
     
  21. Mace1370

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    I am being very careful to only post generic statements that do not reference specific questions or violate the honor code in any way. If you think I have then please let me know and I will delete my posts.
     
  22. yaah

    yaah Boring
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    No, I didn't see anything that I thought was too worrisome. Just posted because sometimes once people start posting others jump on and start getting too specific. Has been a bigger problem in MCAT forums in the past (what did you think about that passage about wild horses, etc).
     
  23. 27G

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  24. sohsie

    sohsie Member
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    I was so freaked by CP when studying that I probably spent 90% of my time studying for it. When I actually took the exam, I was scared that I failed AP (mainly the slide portion, believe it or not). On the other hand, I was confident that I passed CP ( I was slightly worried about the images part but figured I didn't mess it up too badly). Part of my confidence was due to the fact that I was able to answer the basic math questions on the practical portion of the exam. Listening to the other test takers, it was clear that many of them struggled with this portion so I figured that even if I messed up more than I thought, this part would help me. I did pass btw.

    I am strictly kosher so I brought self heating meals with me to eat. I also got some snacks and drinks at one of the convenience stores in the gas station near the hotel. I did the same for dermpath boards.

    When I took the recertification exam, I ordered some pre-made food from the local chabad (lubavitch), picked it up the day before the exam, and kept it in the fridge in my hotel room. Definitely more appetizing than the self heating meals.
     
  25. bauber

    bauber Pathology yo

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    That was a really rough test...No idea if I passed either but at least the Cigar City Brewery was only a mile away afterwords...

    I thought the toughest part of AP was the allotted time for the slide sets and the virtual slides. You really have to pay attention to the clock and not get stuck on a slide trying to decide. Slide, microscope, and virtual slide quality were fine overall and the slides were a fair difficulty I think. The written portion was mostly a ton of factoids and didn't seem terrible but I definitely had to guess on some questions. I expected more genetics/molecular questions here but there weren't many at all. Not a ton of questions on immunostains, but some. There were some clinical/epidemiological type questions that I had no clue on. The part with the images was tough overall. It's not easy to make a diagnosis from a still 10"x10" image. Nuclear quality was awful in a decent handful of the photos. Cyto wasn't terrible, but wasn't easy.

    CP is definitely tougher than AP. The practical had way fewer calculations than I was expecting but the ones that were there were straightforward. The written wasn't too bad, lots of factoids, some weird clinical questions, and some out there lab admin type stuff. You get a paper booklet you can write in with 6 or so antibody screens, couple of those were straight IDs, couple were what's next type questions. The image practical is all heme and micro, the micro was pretty straightforward overall but the heme was hard, but I don't like heme at all really. Image quality ranged from a picture of the first immuno ever performed to great.

    One thing I did was flagging every question that I guessed on or wasn't totally sure of the answer then going back through those with my extra time after completing all of the question block.

    I know most people pass but after the amount of time I put in it still felt really really tough and I have no idea if I passed.
     
    #23 bauber, Jun 18, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
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  26. Korzh

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    Hey guys. Sorry for off-topic. Can someone be only AP certified (never apply for CP board) nowadays after AP/CP residency? Many thanks!
     
  27. univlad

    univlad Member

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    Yes. But once you agree to be AP only certified and get the certificate, if you ever want to add CP certification you have to redo an entire CP only residency (three years).

    FROM abpath.org
    American Board of Pathology

    SINGLE CERTIFICATION FOR CANDIDATES BOARD ELIGIBLE FOR COMBINED CERTIFICATION WHO ARE SUCCESSFUL IN ONLY ONE OF THE EXAMINATIONS

    • Candidates who are board eligible for certification in AP/CP must pass both examinations to become certified.
    • Candidates successful in only one of the primary examinations (AP or CP) have the option to request that the ABP award a single certificate in the primary area (AP or CP) in which they were successful, if all training requirements have been met.
      • Original applications and any subsequent training will be evaluated for compliance with single certification requirements. All of the requirements for certification in Anatomic Pathology or Clinical Pathology must be satisfied as described in the current Booklet of Information (Sections III.A and III.B).
      • Candidates must sign the statement included with the application for single certification stating that they are relinquishing board eligibility in AP/CP and are requesting primary certification in the area in which they were successful (AP or CP).
      • Candidates must complete the application for single certification and submit the appropriate fee ($1000). This application must be downloaded, completed and mailed to the ABP office so that it is received no later than the published deadline. An online application is not available.
      • Training used to satisfy the requirements for a single certificate may not be used subsequently to obtain additional certification. If a candidate applies for the other primary certificate at a later date, he/she will be expected to satisfy existing requirements for the other primary certificate at the time of application.
      • Application for single certification must be submitted within 3 years of expiration of the period of board eligibility in which the primary examination was passed.
      • Candidates who are board eligible for combined AP/NP certification must pass both examinations to receive a combined certificate. Candidates successful in the primary examination (AP) but not in the NP examination may apply for a single primary (AP) certificate using the procedure previously described.
    • Applications for single certification are evaluated in May and in November. Applications received by March 1 will be evaluated in May. Applications received by October 1 will be evaluated in November. The fee for single certification is $ 1000.00.
     
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  28. Korzh

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    Hey guys. What would you recommend for the board prep ASCP vs Osler notes? Thanks!
     
  29. pathslides

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    I used both.
     
  30. gecko45

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    Anyone know what the last testing date for the primary certs is? They said to expect results 6 weeks after testing is complete...
     
  31. Mace1370

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    I believe end of June (June 30th). We were told to expect results in early to mid August.
     
  32. Mace1370

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    I passed both AP and CP, thank god. Such a horrible exam. I've been having panic attacks over the last week imagining having to study again. It's over now, though!
     
    #30 Mace1370, Aug 8, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
  33. pianoguy05

    pianoguy05 Slide Oracle

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    Passed AP/CP. don't know how. But I did.
     
  34. ACreativeMind03

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    Used both. ASCP for lectures not covered well on Osler, and vice versa.
     
  35. bauber

    bauber Pathology yo

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    Passed! I immediately went to the store and bought a bottle of single malt! Such a relief.
     
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  36. LoaLoa

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    Congrats to all who passed, and condolences to those who have to repeat. The path board exam is the worst test in the world.
     
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  37. ScubaV

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    Also passed. It was weird, I felt pretty good right after the exam. I thought it was hard but mostly fair and didn't feel like I'd failed (but not that I would've had a good score if it was graded). But as mid August loomed closer I got more nervous and when the email popped up on my phone, my heart was racing.

    As for study tips:
    You've passed tons of standardized exams by now and know the techniques that work best for you. Follow them. Since there's no first aid or UWorld I just cobbled together random stuff I thought would help. I didn't have a formal study plan. I simply covered stuff that I felt I was weak in or hadn't looked over in a while, usually for a week at a time (say a week of microbiology) and studied in a given day until I was tired or felt I'd done enough. Do keep a good balance between study and rest (exercise, tv, gaming, whatever) especially in the final week or two. You want to be mentally fresh before the two day marathon.

    As for specific resources I used:
    Osler review course (just attended, didn't go over the materials again)
    Blood bank guy podcasts
    Transfusion medicine self assessment (green book)
    Microbes with Morgan YouTube videos
    CP compendium (read it piecemeal, some sections twice, didn't do questions)
    AP and CP lefkowich question books
    Rosai pictures only
    Differential diagnosis in surgical pathology pictures and pearls
    Baby DeMay pictures (I'd read it previously)
    About 100 handmade flash cards of hard to remember factoids
    A smattering of California tumor registry slides

    Best of luck to future test takers!
     
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  38. sosarah

    sosarah PGY5

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    ASCP is more representative of the actually exam, IMO.
     

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