Jan 25, 2010
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I failed the 2010 ABIM exam and I am freaking out. I dont think I will be able to find work this summer or fall anywhere and if I do the time available to study is limited. Any nontraditional medical routes that dont require ABIM certification is welcome because this exam I think is a money making scheme and does not reflect anything. I am getting sick and tired of the medical profession.
 

tool

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Lots of jobs for board eligible people. Plus most hospitals don't require you to get board certified for like 3-5 years....at least from what I've seen.
 
OP
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Thanks for the "encouraging" news but working and studying at the same time leads to the 45% pass rate for repeat test takers like me. Given the current medical crisis I think ABIM is going about this **** all wrong and in the future people will hear of such a thing as "needy doctors" aka doctors that cannot make enough money to get by, like buy a house, let alone rent one. Where I am work is only available at as a nighthawk. I dont think my future looks good as a doctor in 10 years.
 

DrBacchi

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Just commenting as a med student. It sounds scary to me that you dont find work as an IM doc? Is it just because you are geographically restricted? I'm going into IM and I thought that it's the field with the most jobs.
 

renaldoc2be

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Just commenting as a med student. It sounds scary to me that you dont find work as an IM doc? Is it just because you are geographically restricted? I'm going into IM and I thought that it's the field with the most jobs.
There are PLENTY of jobs available, don't kid yourself. Now, if you say "I want to work in New York City" of "I have to work in the Bay Area" then you WILL have trouble. I am not geographically bound, but I want to be in a fairly large city. Believe me, I have to tell people "No, thank you." I receive at least one e-mail a day and at least one phone call a week about jobs. I've been flown all over by the potential employers. The people complaining about a lack of jobs are, for the most part, unable or unwilling to leave their current city.

Just pick something you love to do AND don't hold yourself to a strict geographical location and you will be fine.
 

dragonfly99

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I worked at the VA for a year (moonlighting and on weekends) as an attending in the (nontrauma) ER without being board certified. I didn't even bother to take the IM boards because I was doing research too and honestly I was too busy and I already had these jobs, and I was burned out. I am pretty sure the VA does not require board certification (at least not everywhere) to start working there. It is true that it's getting harder to find jobs if you are not board certified, and it seems unjust that a doc who hasn't passed boards yet is less desired by a lot of these "urgent care" chains than a PA or NP. Some insurance companies may not credential you if you aren't board certified yet.

This isn't the end of the world. You will need to pass boards, but just be honest about the situation and say that you are committed to studying harder next time. With the new restrictions on intern work hours coming next year, I predict there will be more hospitalist jobs opening up, too. You may have to do some jobs that wouldn't be your ideal (like working at night or on weekends) but it seems like there should be a job out there for you.

I think it sucks that the boards are only given once/year (is that right?). It should be 3-4 times/year, particularly due to this type of situation that the OP is in.
 

Gastrapathy

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Outside your program, no one knows that you failed. You simply haven't passed according to the ABIM. Find a locums job to work part time for the next 8 months, then take some time to prepare for the exam in a dedicated way. Gotta give it another shot before all the doom and gloom.
 

YellowRose

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Outside your program, no one knows that you failed. You simply haven't passed according to the ABIM. Find a locums job to work part time for the next 8 months, then take some time to prepare for the exam in a dedicated way. Gotta give it another shot before all the doom and gloom.


Unfortunately, that's not altogether true. If you go to the ABIM website, on the lower left hand corner, you can check if someones boarded. now, it doesn't say that you failed, just reports that you're not boarded. Now if all your friends know you took it, and checked the website and saw you're not boarded...you can make an educated guess. it kinda sucks...
 
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gutonc

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Unfortunately, that's not altogether true. If you go to the ABIM website, on the lower left hand corner, you can check if someones boarded. now, it doesn't say that you failed, just reports that you're not boarded. Now if all your friends know you took it, and checked the website and saw you're not boarded...you can make an educated guess. it kinda sucks...
Fair enough, but no potential employers will know that. Unless you tell them you sat for the exam already.
 

DrWBD

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Thanks for the "encouraging" news but working and studying at the same time leads to the 45% pass rate for repeat test takers like me. Given the current medical crisis I think ABIM is going about this **** all wrong and in the future people will hear of such a thing as "needy doctors" aka doctors that cannot make enough money to get by, like buy a house, let alone rent one. Where I am work is only available at as a nighthawk. I dont think my future looks good as a doctor in 10 years.
While I totally sympathize with you, I agree with the other posters that it isn't the end of the world. You are still considered "board eligible" and no potential employer has to know that you failed the ABIM on your first attempt - just say that you were sick/had a rough year in residency/etc and decided not to take it.

As far as passing on your next attempt goes, you need to be honest with yourself and determine a specific reason why you failed. Everybody who takes the ABIM is tested on the same stupid minutiae as you, so to rationalize that that was the reason you did poorly is the wrong approach. Did you just do poorly in a specific area or genrally not do well on all the topics? Did you dedicate enough time to study? Did you take a board review class?

Good luck.
 

ndspider

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What does it say on the ABIM website?
My wife has been freaking out (I am an ER resident) and I just checked for her, b/c she is now afraid to check. Under her name it says

"This physician has not completed the requirements for ABIM certification. You may wish to check again periodically."

does that mean she failed or that it is not updated yet? I don't understand?!

Thanks in advance peeps.
 

DrWBD

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What does it say on the ABIM website?
My wife has been freaking out (I am an ER resident) and I just checked for her, b/c she is now afraid to check. Under her name it says

"This physician has not completed the requirements for ABIM certification. You may wish to check again periodically."

does that mean she failed or that it is not updated yet? I don't understand?!

Thanks in advance peeps.

Residents I know who just took and passed the test already had their status updated on the public ABIM site. I wouldn't mention it to your wife yet, but it could be bad news for her.
 

VJWDO

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What does it say on the ABIM website?
My wife has been freaking out (I am an ER resident) and I just checked for her, b/c she is now afraid to check. Under her name it says

"This physician has not completed the requirements for ABIM certification. You may wish to check again periodically."

does that mean she failed or that it is not updated yet? I don't understand?!

Thanks in advance peeps.
If you logged in and actually looked at her personal account then that means her results are not available yet.

If you just looked up her name and it says "This physician has not completed the requirements for ABIM certification. You may wish to check again periodically."

Then that likely means she failed.

If you log onto her account then it will say pass or fail. If it say anything else then not sure what that means.

Sorry:(
 

Shah_Patel_PT

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Fair enough, but no potential employers will know that. Unless you tell them you sat for the exam already.
Unfortunately once you apply for hospital privileges, they ask if you are ABIM eligible and if you took the test before. But I think you would be hired before this applications so it may not matter the first year.
 

ndspider

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Residents I know who just took and passed the test already had their status updated on the public ABIM site. I wouldn't mention it to your wife yet, but it could be bad news for her.

Actually she just passed ( I just checked, updated it 5 min later)
Lucky girl.... I was freaked out....

Cheers and g/luck everyone.
 

WorkaholicsAnon

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ok, OP, you need to stop freaking out and being so angry about what happened. Yeah sometimes life isn't fair, but let's face it, despite the insanity of the test itself, a lot of us did pass (though I totally agree it's a money-making scheme). That said, not passing does happen (with some frequency) and there are tons of ways you can arrange your life to be able to have a job and have time to study for the retake:

1. You can get a research job in a lab. You will have some time to study outside of work and even during work, and you can take a few weeks off before test day to study all day during crunch time.

2. You can do locums. Take a job that will end a month or 2 before test day. Take your next assignment after test day. Hopefully you will save enough during your work months to get you through your months off.

3. Moonlight. Flexibility abounds.


And yes, I too affirm that hospitals dont usually care whether or not you are board-certified. Especially if you're going to moonlight--many places are desperate for moonlighters. For research it matters even less.