I had my oral boards during my pain fellowship a few years ago. It is very surprising how much you forget when you are out of the OR.
I had the physical UBP books and Dr. Ho's large book, the Lange flashcards, the Rapid Review book the Monsur book, and Board Stiff. Practiced with co fellows, and two people I had met on SDN for daily practice via Skype and it was excellent but I sort of just plateaued. It wasnt a knowledge issue, ITE's pretty much always 98-99th percentile. Oral practice feedback from attendings and cofellows was scattershot and now useful for finding areas to improve. I was not feeling very confident going into the exam with about a month to go. Despite nailing down an approach, I was not sure how it would go. Some things I was strong on and others were notably weaker eg liver transplant, congenital cardiac topics. Job offer lined up for me post fellowship absolutely required full board certification prior to the start date, non-negotiable.Word of mouth, dont advertise sort of job.
One of my skype practice partners felt the same and had signed up for Just Oral Boards course. I was hesitant but looked around at different prep companies as I had to pass on the first attempt for my dream job. Someone had passed along sample lectures from the most recent live Dr. Ho course and the UBP course. I watched about an hour of each and felt both were not a good fit for how I was approaching the exam. Far too detailed and lengthy responses. Residents at my anesthesiology program nearly exclusively used the Dr. Ho book or went to his course with good reviews and pretty much all passed.
Ended up joining my Skype study partner and bought the Just Oral Boards course with 24 mock exams. Payed full price, over $4000 a few years ago. Frankly, I was just expecting a more structured approach to the exam and maybe a few tough examiners. I was VERY and pleasantly surprised how tough and comprehensive it was. I really liked their approach to answering questions. Their examiners were, for the most part, very tough. I mean like sitting with a huge academic who frequently quote studies kind of tough, really tore into you strategically and is very good at identifying your weak points.
Day of the exam was nearly identical to the practice sessions, felt just like I was in one of the practice sessions both in scope, intensity, and timing. No question, I was as prepared as i could be.
Amount payed for the course was minuscule compared to not getting my dream job. Unique situation. I wrote the cost off as worth a couple days of attending work.
Someone on SDN had posted a good outline on how to study for the OSCE portion and that was quite useful. No surprises.
Passed on first attempt. I genuinely feel I more likely then not would have failed were it not for the Just Oral Boards course.
I didn't post this to shill for any company but to give an honest account of my experience. I bought pretty much any book I could get my hands on for this exam. I didn't receive a single item, session, or book for free. I received no discount, payed full price. I don't work for any company now or previously.
Though others will say courses are uncessary, in unique situations such as this, I would wholeheartedly recommend it vs a surprise fail and reattempting the exam while working as an attending.