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Just Oral Boards?

Discussion in 'Anesthesiology' started by flak96, Jul 1, 2014.

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  1. flak96

    flak96 Account on Hold Account on Hold

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    Jul 1, 2014
    Hi everyone,

    I'm studying for the orals for this october. I suck at exams, and wanted to know if anyone has any feedback on this course. They're a little pricey but it seems its more hands-on. thoughts, comments, suggestions?
     
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  3. FFP

    FFP Grunt, cog, body, pompous ass Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    Most people will agree that these courses are a waste of money.

    Borrow a copy of a good oral boards book, such as Ho, couple it with something up-to-date such as the Anesthesia Guide, and do 30-50 mock orals with friends/teachers.

    No course will beat experience with mock orals. Good luck!
     
  4. Trisomy13

    Trisomy13 ultra 10+ Year Member

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    I used J.O.B. and thought they were very useful, and I'm convinced they helped as part of my preparation routine. Never went to a course, but did about 16 mock exams with them. Good feedback after the exams. Very hands-on. Very intense. They are expensive, but they provided a very realistic (i.e. borderline hostile environment) mock exam scenario, so I was not caught off guard. I've posted about my experience with them before. You can probably find it with a search.
     
  5. pangea

    pangea Account on Hold Account on Hold

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    I agree that the Anesthesia Guide by mcgraw hill is a useful book for the boards, but i don't think you can study for the orals just using a book. U DEFINATELY need a course.

    My own experience is to avoid lecture based courses like ho and jensen. they are more fitted for the written. On Just Oral Boards, I have to say that it may be the most cost effective because u get the exams over skype and i saved on hotel and travel, which was huge. I think they're pass rate is higher than other courses too, but I can be mistaken.
     
  6. Femtochemistry

    Femtochemistry Skunk Works 10+ Year Member

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    I just finished my oral boards this past April and passed (thank God). I've noticed there is a crap load of oral review books. I used the ultimate board review books which I found helpful. However, the best and I mean the BEST was doing the old released oral board questions released by the ABA. Those questions were money! I did them with a couple of friends and almost went over all the cases twice. The best thing you can do to prepare for this exam is to practice. Read all you want, in the end of the day, it's all about how you present yourself.
     
  7. narcusprince

    narcusprince Rough Rider 10+ Year Member

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    I read EBM anesthesia. I did a few mock orals with fellow staff at my job and did a few mock orals with friends from residency. Caveat I worked at an academic training institution. Funny story I did 2 mock orals with a friend of mine from a NYC program. We ended up taking the oral board at the exact same time same examiners and VERY similar cases to the ones we practiced. What are the odds of that.
     
  8. CaliDreamin4Life

    CaliDreamin4Life ASA Member 2+ Year Member

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    Femtochemistry, how do you get he old released ABA oral board questions?
     
  9. Trisomy13

    Trisomy13 ultra 10+ Year Member

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    I did a practice exam with a buddy on a Wednesday night (from an Ultimate Board Prep book) and had my real exam Thursday morning. First scenario was almost identical to that practice exam. I grinned through the entire exam and practically answered before they got the questions out.
     
  10. FFP

    FFP Grunt, cog, body, pompous ass Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    Also, would recommend chewing through Yao and Artusio. At least half of that book is very pertinent for the oral boards.
     
  11. Trisomy13

    Trisomy13 ultra 10+ Year Member

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    Ditto that. Only textbook I used in addition to Skype mock exams from J.O.B. and with colleagues using UBP exam books. Worked for me.
     
  12. gymone1

    gymone1 7+ Year Member

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    Yes, how do you get the old released ABA exams? All I see is 2 from the ABA part 2 website?
     
  13. ether123

    ether123 Banned Banned 2+ Year Member

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    hey guys,
    let me just weigh in here. The just oral boards course www.justoralboard.com is amazing! I failed the first time, and then passed with them. Utlimate board prep is good, but their questions are not that similar to the exam and the old ABA exams come without any answers, so how do u test yourself?

    A note on yao (which i used before i failed), it quotes studies and papers, which is NOT what the orals are looking for. Mark my words, this book is not for the Orals and the authors will tell u this.

    I think Just Oral Boards is the way to go. Why risk not being board certified???
     
  14. FFP

    FFP Grunt, cog, body, pompous ass Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    The orals are looking for a well-rounded fast-thinking confident anesthesiologist who can explain briefly the rationale behind every decision. The kind that is produced not by "Become a millionaire in just 30 days"-type board-prep books/courses.

    One of my colleagues failed his oral boards not because of few mock orals or bad technique (he was much better than me at them, and had access to many of his academic colleagues and board examiners), but because of knowledge gaps. Books like Yao are excellent for filling those gaps. I would argue that reading Yao makes anyone a better anesthesiologist.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2014
    GravelRider likes this.
  15. hudsontc

    hudsontc Attending 10+ Year Member

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    Practice exams with board examiners in your program are invaluable, if you have access to them. You will be questioned at every point on your decision-making, the key is not necessarily to have the perfect answers to the examiners' questions but to have justifiable and reasonable explanations for your decisions.

    You can memorize Yao & Artusio but at the end of the day, the meat of the exam covers scenarios that you have dealt with throughout residency. Sure, the examiners will get into questions that are esoteric to most in the field but that is only if you're already doing very well. That is where knowing a text like Yao & Artusio will give you extra polish and probably just make you feel better, even though you've already passed.

    If you've been a faithful student through residency, knowledge-base won't be your hurdle--communicating and defending your decisions will be. That is why practice exams are chief in importance for preparation, in my mind's eye.
     
  16. ether123

    ether123 Banned Banned 2+ Year Member

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    Again,

    not to belabor a point or downplay any book, but this is a tough exam to pass reading a book. you need to PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. Any course that gives you a TON of practice is good. I am familiar with just jensen, ho, and Just Oral Boards, so my vote is for Just Oral Bds because they provide tons of practice and very little lectures, whereas the other two are mainly lecture based. whether its reading a book in a coffee shop or sitting in an over AC conference room this summer, I do not think you will learn like that.

    I agree with FFP that The Anesthesia Guide by atachabhian and Yao and Artusio are good books to use alongside a good course, but don't think by themselves they are enough. I also agree with hudsontc that practice exams with colleagues is useful, but be careful who u choose. someone at ur work may offer to give u a mock exam and themself not know what they are doing (i.e. never say "x" on the exam even though you could). The board examiner (singular) at my residency was too cocky to help and if he did he made u feel stupid. don't think his role in my prep was worth anything.

    I'm biased bec they helped me pass but just oral boards is the way to go in my opinion, but both ffp and hudsontc have very relevant points here.
     
  17. Planktonmd

    Planktonmd Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    Look the examiner in the eyes when answering, smile and act confident. That's all you need!
     
  18. pgg

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

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    I did the Ho course and found it generally helpful.

    There were a lot of lectures and knowledge-base review was a big focus. But in watching the public mock orals, people weren't floundering because they lacked confidence or speaking ability ... they were sinking because they had knowledge gaps. Over and over, it was knowledge that was short. The oral is a test of judgment, but knowledge is a prerequisite.

    I did the 2-day course followed by one of the must-know cases sessions. Having 4 straight days of intense, dedicated oral board study with lots of practice speaking with strangers (and listening to strangers screw up), was useful.

    The one thing you get at these courses that you can't really get elsewhere is that opportunity to watch other people perform well or poorly. That helped me pick out small things (mannerisms or ways of speaking) that I was doing well or poorly. All that said, I didn't pay out of pocket for either the course fee or the travel. I may have been less satisfied overall if I'd been out $3K for the experience ... but then again, $3K isn't much in the grand scheme of things if it helps ensure a pass.

    If you do go to one of these courses, be aware that they are attended by a skewed-toward-failure group of people. Lots of people who have failed previous attempts or speak English as a 2nd language do a review course. If you're clinically and academically strong (aren't we all? :)), you'll feel like a rock star watching them bone things up, but don't get overconfident, because it really is a small pond.
     
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  19. nycitygas

    nycitygas ASA Member 5+ Year Member

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    Just Oral Boards seems great but it was too expensive for me (I was still a fellow barely scraping by). I have heard great things about it though.
    I read Michael Ho's book twice and did all the cases in Ultimate Board Review. I thought the cases in UBR were EXCELLENT preparation. Ho's book was okay but ignore all the esoteric information and focus on the questions.
    Find a study partner and get to it. I did them with my co-fellows and my wife (who is not a physician hah)

    I tried to read Yaos and Stoeltings but just didn't have the time. Same story with the old ABA exams. CCM fellowship helped alot-I totally owned all the critical care questions.

    Regardless of how well you prepare or perform, you will still walk out of the exam wanting to cry. It was the most painful 2 hours of my life and I felt like crap afterwards. I spent the next two weeks reliving all of my mistakes in my head.

    Remember, as a first time test take you will have close to a 90% chance of passing.. Good Luck!
     
  20. Dragons Realm

    Dragons Realm Banned Banned Account on Hold

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    I have taken the oral boards 3 times with 4 prep programs... the one that helped me over the hump was Just Oral Boards. This is the "complete program". You get highly skilled mock oral examiners (some from academic programs) who teach you the "ins" and "outs" of the oral board process. Enough cant be said about the program. They were right on the money with the questions and feedback! The money spent was well worth it. Nothing beats getting a letter from the ABA saying "Congratulations... you are now boarded in the field of Anesthesiology." Nothing beats that feeling and the money was so worth it. I can now stand proudly amongst my coworkers to say that I am indeed boarded. Its a wonderful feeling. I just wished I knew about the program the first time around. Just Oral Boards was very flexible with my working hours and they give exams 7 days a week (including holidays!). By the way, attend their lecture series. The lecture series was free for me since I enrolled in the rapid sequence track.
     
  21. FFP

    FFP Grunt, cog, body, pompous ass Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    I don't know if you work for JOB, but maybe your first post ever on this board shouldn't be an advertisement, don't you think?
     
  22. Femtochemistry

    Femtochemistry Skunk Works 10+ Year Member

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    :spam:
     
  23. DreamLover

    DreamLover Bored Certified 10+ Year Member

    Just breathe and listen to their questions and come up with an intelligible response. Resist using the phrases, "I don't know" or "I'm not sure" or "I'd probably" or "I might"

    Just say your answers clearly, decisively and definitively. Don't be cocky but don't be wishy washy. You have to portray confidence in your abilities despite being scared out of your mind.
     
  24. pgg

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

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    I really have to wonder about a company that feels a need to advertise in this way.

    Closing.
     

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