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Help for ABA Written Boards

Discussion in 'Anesthesiology' started by yasha83, Mar 23, 2010.

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  1. yasha83

    yasha83 Member 5+ Year Member

    Dec 8, 2005
    Hi guys, I was hoping I could scrounge up some advice for a friend of mine in Anesthesia. Non-traditional grad who has been out of residency as an attending for about 7 years now, and has repeatedly failed the Oral boards. Talking to him now, apparently enough time has passed that he is now forced to retake the Written as well, and given that it was 6 years ago when he passed it he doesn't recall too much in the way of what resources he should use for preparation this time around.

    I've searched some older threads and found some scattered info ("Big Blue"?), but I was hoping to get a few focused concrete answers by starting a thread. What in the way of prep for the written is fairly well regarded among residents out there in the way of 1) written materials/review books 2) Question banks/books 3) Live prep courses....

    Any help from current residents/attendings would be much appreciated, thanks.
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  3. gaspasser2004

    gaspasser2004 Member Since 2004 10+ Year Member

    Feb 13, 2004
    It really takes an entire residency to acquire the body of knowledge needed to become a consultant anesthesiologist and thus be able to pass qualifying examinations for board certification. In my opinion, I think that reading the Lange book, Big Blue and working through the questions in Hall and Chantigian provides a good review. If I was really pressed for time, I would cut out the Lange book and hope that my fund of knowledge was strong enough to rely on Big Blue and H&C.


    Big Blue

    Hall and Chantigian

    And don't forget that the "writtens" are now in computer format. I think it is worthwhile to become familiar with the computer interface prior to the exam.

    ABA website
  4. 2ndyear

    2ndyear Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 11, 2002
    New England
    For situations like this one I would think that taking a course would be the best preparation. They'll give you an idea of the intangible stuff on the writtens as they've changed a fair amount from 6 years ago. I liked the Jensen format, but I never took the course.
  5. Sergio99

    Sergio99 ASA Member 5+ Year Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Los Angeles

    Both answers above are good, but you have to combine them: the books plus the course. A course alone is not enough. Knowing the Baby Miller or the Morgan-Mikhail (Lange) almost by heart is a must. They are fairly similar, and either one will do. Both of these books can be read fairly quickly if you have an idea of what they are saying. If you see that you cannot read them easily and quickly, there you have a sure sign that you don't know enough to trust yourself for the exam.

    Basically, these two books are the minmum common denominator for the knowledge you need in order to pass the boards. If you don't know them, you can expect difficulty taking the exams.

    And take lots of sample tests from past years and from review books.
  6. yasha83

    yasha83 Member 5+ Year Member

    Dec 8, 2005
    so for questions: Hall and Chantigian
    review : Big Blue, Baby Miller, Lange, etc....
    live prep : Jensen

    any other suggestions for good sources of practice questions/tests?

    thank you all for the advice so far, I'll pass it along!
  7. pgg

    pgg Laugh at me, will they? SDN Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Dec 14, 2005
    Home Again
    Old ABA exams, available free. No explanations included, but I think there's value to be had from doing those questions and researching/understanding the answer yourself. It's more active learning than reading someone else's explanation (though that certainly has a place).
  8. doczzz

    doczzz 5+ Year Member

    Jan 13, 2010

    Another good source for questions with written explanations is the ACE program issued from the ASA.

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