To those of you out there who will be taking the oral boards in April who are starting to think about preparing for the big exam, I just wanted to give some advice.
Please save yourself weeks of vacation and missed paychecks, as well as thousands of dollars in course fees. I read the book which I really believe was a massive waste of time. The guy appears to make all of his money off of fear and intimidation of his peers which is appauling. You can DEFINITELY pass without all of that nonsense.
True story: I know four people who have taken the course. Of those four people, three have FAILED.
Not that the course makes you fail obviously, but it just appears that it is not very helpful. Everyone have a happy New Years and hopefully I can lead a few of you towards a decision to save some serious time and money. Spend that money instead on a dozen bottles of Dom Perignon.
Most people will pass the orals on their first attempt with a small amount of effort. Others will need to work a little harder. Then there are those who will have to work extremely hard to pass the orals. There are various reasons why some people have to work harder to clear the orals.
A weekend or even a week with Michael Ho will not make up difficulties in fluency,content,depth and presentation. The orals are a speaking exam. Sitting in a large hall and watching some poor guy make a fool out of himself has liitle utility.
I took the Ho course twice. There was a guy doing mocks with me at the Ho course who was extremely well spoken. His answers were polished and presented in a very professional fashion. This fellow ,I think he was from Geoge Washington ,was wasting his time. I was also wasting my time. I needed to better understand the purpose of the exam and what was expected of me.
The ABA is looking for reasonable diplomats. Your answers have to reasonable. Your judgement must be sound. Your answers do not have to be brilliant. You are not expected to know everything. You will not fail the orals because you miss one question.
Preparation for the orals should begin at the beginning of residency.Developing the habit of communicating well about your cases and fully understanding the anesthetic implications of what is going on with your patients will go a long way.
Encourage your patients to ask you questions. This will give you the opportunity to return CRISP
I will break CRISP
R= Reasonable(would you actually do this in the OR)
I = Intelligent
S= Supported by discussion(why)
P = Professional( deliver your answer in a professional manner)
I sat down and came up with this after I bombed the orals a few years ago. I determined why I failed and set out to fix my speaking problems. The process has made me a much better public speaker. I use this in many settings.
There are a number of issues that may make someone a weak candidate. Figure out how strong or weak you are and determine if something must be rectified.
Most of you out there will pass the orals with no difficulty. You will leave the exam thinking that you failed but you will pass.
If you have failed the orals more than once I suggest intense pracice and maybe a review course. I would not suggest Ho. The author of Board Stiff III offers a review course. The class size is smaller but it cost more than Ho. No, I did not take this course but the premise of it is good. You need to learn how to speak anesthesia.
I have a lot posts discussing the orals on this forum.
The orals serve a great purpose. I hope that they do not go away. The experience forced me to grow.
Happy New Year,