I wanted to share my experience with the SOE/OSCE in May. Started skimming UBP late February but serious studying began in March after I did a practice oral exam with an oral examiner and realized I needed a lot of improvement. UBP provides a lot of good info and should be the main source of reading material but answers are too long, overly conservative, and not definitive enough ("I would consider" is not a favorable statement to examiners). Answering the UBP way would be detrimental on the real exam.
I finished UBP. I also read through much of Yao and Artusio to help further my knowledge. This was very time consuming and in retrospect, the least helpful part of my exam prep. With less than 2 weeks to exam time, I started skimming Anesthesia Oral Board Review. I highly recommend reading through a review book of some sort. There are many rapid review books out there so just pick one. They're good for highlighting key points of high yield topics and also include lists of differentials to help you formulate blurbs when asked for Ddx. It's an easy read and chapters are short.
Also did so so many mock oral exams with examiners at my institution and with other people studying for the exam. I looked up answers to all the questions I didn't know (which was a lot). The old ABA exams are key. You'll find certain topics are very common on the exams and it's important to have a good spiel for those questions down pat. I was lucky because a topic I didn't know well during one practice exam actually got asked word for word on my real oral exam and I was able to answer all of them this time.
On the exam, even if you're doing well on a topic, the examiners will push you until you have to say "I don't know." That is ok. Just move on. If you've been able to answer basic questions leading up to it, they know you know your stuff. I had to say "I don't know" several times during both my stems. I also blurted out answers that I wasn't 100% sure on. One time I just said "bronchospasm" and went down that route without mentioning other possibilities. I'm sure this happens to everyone.
I was very fortunate to have reasonably straight forward stems and nice examiners. I never got cut off. They didn't really question my choices, though I did have to back them up a few times, but they didn't give "hints" either during the main stem. In both rooms, the senior examiner prodded me a little bit during the grab bags. I think they do that because during those cases it's harder to get your thoughts together so they try to help you out by saying "would x be useful?".
I walked out of both stems feeling like I did pretty well. This made me more nervous because I was told you're supposed to feel terrible. Then on the flight home I started second guessing some of my choices and remembering all the things I didn't know and times I might have made the wrong decision. I worried that I made a critical error somewhere that I didn't realize. I made it through three grab bags in each scenario so I felt good about that at least. Luckily because I felt fairly certain I passed, the wait wasn't as excruciating, but logging into the portal and seeing PASSED is a great feeling.
Quick thoughts on OSCE for those who are interested: I hate talking to standardized patients, it's very artificial. I also expected them to be more helpful, like steer me in a certain direction and ask questions if I missed something. They were not helpful at all. I felt like I was talking in circles in some of the rooms. One station was discussing options for something I haven't done in years so I totally winged that one. I haven't heard of anyone failing the OSCE yet though...