Discussion in 'Pediatrics' started by Perrotfish, May 21, 2012.
Does anyone know when the in service is?
I believe for most programs it is in early July. However, each program director can lobby to change the dates.
I think the program coordinator at my program said july 11 for us. I think everyone takes it on the same day??? (not sure...starting intern year)
what is usually asked , basic knowledge usmle type questions or more detailed questions ? what resources are recommended to prepare for the exam ?
The test consists of clinical knowlege vignette-style questions. Most of the questions involve a small patient clinical vignette followed by a question.
I wouldnt bother preparing for it as an intern. The test is scored from 0-800 although I think if you hit below 50% of the questions they will default the score to a 70 or something like that. To pass the real exam, you need about a 410, which corresponds to slightly above 70% correct answers. For interns, a score below around 150 or so would raise concern, but again you have 3 more years to study and get prepared so all in all its really not that big of a deal as an intern. Now if you are hitting 150 as a 3rd year you are in some major hurt.
For interns, the purpose is just to establish a baseline so you can compare it to future performance. The PD might pull you aside if you get a score that is 2 standard deviations below other interns, but even in that scenario you're not going face any real consequences, they'll just tell you that you are below average and need to spend more time reading/preparing than other people.
Ideally by the time you are a 3rd year resident you need to be close to getting a passing score (~ 410). I'm preparing for the real boards right now and let me just give a word of warning to the new peds interns -- the ABP is testing for crap that you almost never see in the daily practice of pediatrics. You could practice pediatrics for 20 years as an attending and still easily fail the exam because the test covers a lot of rare stuff that general pediatricians dont see often. Just because you go to a residency program that promises that you'll see "every kind of patient imaginable" that by itself wont be enough to pass the boards.
Agreed...and most of the questions aren't even really management issues anyways. I think that's biggest issue with the peds boards - what's tested has no real bearing on denoting how well you'll take care of real patients typically seen in a gen peds practice.
That is strange, how the ABP is structured that way. Thanks for the heads up, that probably explains why the board pass rate is only around 70% for general peds.
It's part of the equation, however, the pass rate is determined by the ABP and they've been the one's who have decided what % of people will pass. In other words, it's not a function of people failing to meet a minimum standard, but rather that the ABP says there's going to be a set number of people who will fail. Even if everyone got >95% of the questions right on the exam, there would be those who fail.
how is it scored? each carries 4 marks? or is it different?
It is scored the same way as the real boards 0-800 scale although I think if you miss more than 50% of the questions the lowest score they give out is a 70 or something like that.
Around a 400 score is considered close to "passing" the real boards. As an intern obviously you are not expected to do very well and its really a trend of scores over time is what your PD is going to be looking for. I think for you guys a score of 150-200 is considered a good score.
I've heard lots of people say that (my wife included). But what I haven't seen is ABP or anyone else showing documentation that they only let so many people get through the gate each year. Especially since that, in and of itself, is pretty much evidence that there is no reason for taking the test.
Look at it this way. You say yourself that if everyone gets >95% right that a certain percent would fail because there is some %ile cutoff. Then, the next year, if the average score is lower, someone with a worse score is board certified, when someone the year before wouldn't be. And I can't believe that for a second. This is why so many other boards (ABR, ABS, etc) have come out against the recalls. Because the cutoff for pass vs not pass is so narrow, that they can't change the questions very often, or at all. Every board has a problem with not applicable material on the exam, so it's not like peds is worse than all the other specialties. But I never have heard the IM, FM, or any other specialty say that there has to be an absolute number to fail like I hear the peds guys say.
If anyone has proof other than anecdote, then I'll concede that maybe you guys are different. But until then, I'm not buying it.
I do buy the "more people fail peds boards than other boards", but I can't pin that on an absolute pass rate. I would argue that the test itself is probably poorly written enough that more normal people fail it, that's all.
I've taken both the IM and peds inservice exams, which are supposed to be structured similarly to the real boards. The difference is night and day. On the IM exam, they dont test for nearly as much esoteric crap, and they structure the questions so that its possible to generate a differential diagnosis and narrow stuff down easily.
An IM doc practicing medicine for 20 years has a MUCH easier time passing the IM test compared to a pediatrician practicing for 20 years. The IM tests for much more "real world" knowledge whereas peds tests for rare diseases that nobody sees in an entire career.
FWIW, this year the peds boards is changing its scoring. Instead of a 0-800 scale, they are switching to a 1-300 scale with a 180 being a passing score (instead of 410 on the old exam)
There's one paragraph in there thats very interesting:
Now they dont come out and say that the old exam was based on a certain percentage of people automatically failing, but the fact that they devoted a whole paragraph to discussing it implies to me thats how they used to score it. No direct proof however.
Apparently they are scaling so that you still have to answer 70-75% questions right to pass the exam.
Interesting. I wonder what made them change it?
Anesthesiologists talk about the ABA written having a definitive number failing; I don't recall if it is a percentage or a variation on an SD interval. However, here on SDN, they've discussed it.
when do the results come back from the inservice?
Dude - I am an EM attending, and mentioned anesthesiology. I have NO idea about the Peds inservice.
Usually in mid to late October
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