vballer

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Just trying to get a sense of what others have done to pass, without overdoing it and studying "too much".

For reference, I finished residency last week, have been studying a few hours/day (~4) for the last week or two. Am I ready?
 

asmallchild

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Just trying to get a sense of what others have done to pass, without overdoing it and studying "too much".

For reference, I finished residency last week, have been studying a few hours/day (~4) for the last week or two. Am I ready?
My PD was always fond of saying that 3 years of residency should have prepared you for the boards, that 3 weeks or 3 months of cramming wasn't going to make up the difference if we had been slacking off as residents.

None of us listened and all ended up cramming anyway :)

I think you should be fine, I certainly didn't study as much as you as I had started fellowship by that time already.

How did you do on your ITEs?

Not so hot? Study more

Pretty good? Just maintain

Good luck!
 
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werd

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agree. if you finished your derm residency in good standing, you're probably going to be fine. having said that, I studied for most of the day for the month+ leading up to the test.
 

dermie1985

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Most of your "studying" is the learning you do over the 3 years of residency (in clinic, by reading, and in prep for the ITE). You can't really "cram" that information in a few weeks in any sort of meaningful way. Though, all of us try to. Even though your attendings will constantly remind you about boards studying, and there's a weird social pressure / anxiety around boards in dermatology that is different from other specialties, you'll most likely be fine if you attended a good program with well-rounded training sites with a breadth of exposure to gen derm, med derm, peds derm, and derm surg.

Derm boards are HARD, but there's also a pretty high pass rate (97-98%). Literally ~10 people fail per year, and I suspect these are people at more questionable programs without good pathology or subspecialty exposure. I think the general consensus was that if you consistently scored above the 10th percentile on the ITE, you're golden. Between 5-10th, you should worry a little. Less than 5th, and you should definitely be worrying.
 
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Slack3r

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10th percentile? That seems like a very low bar.
 

avidrapper

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When only 2% fail, tenth percentile gives you a lot of wiggle room.
 

dermie1985

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10th percentile? That seems like a very low bar.
Kinda. I would consider that the average Step 1 score of a dermatology resident is probably around ~250 now. Everyone is really good at taking tests in our specialty, it's pushed by program directors to study hard for the ITE and board exam, and the spread between a high percentile and a mid-percentile (at least on the ITE for comparison) can be just a few percentage points.
 
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asmallchild

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Kinda. I would consider that the average Step 1 score of a dermatology resident is probably around ~250 now. Everyone is really good at taking tests in our specialty, it's pushed by program directors to study hard for the ITE and board exam, and the spread between a high percentile and a mid-percentile (at least on the ITE for comparison) can be just a few percentage points.
The ITE was very humbling for me. As dermie1985 already mentioned, everybody is a rock star in dermatology. I actually tried really hard for my PGY2 ITE and finished <10th %ile. That certainly got the attention of my PD.

The other thing to consider is that there are programs and residents out there that don't prioritize studying for the ITE. When they actually put their minds to it, their scores will skyrocket which means if you are in that 5th-10th %ile, you aren't as safe as you might think when it comes to the real certification exam.
 

Skindoc83

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Derm is made up of the best test takers in medicine but the exam is not designed to fail people. Many years no one fails. One of the problems with the ITE from what I remember is that everyone scores so highly that 1-2 questions can take you from the 70th percentile to the 15th. And that’s not an exaggeration, from what I remember there were fewer than 200 questions on the ITE. Study, do what you can, and you will be fine
 
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