Which is the best review book for pediatric boards


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Feb 2, 2019
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Hi,
I am a third year resident and was trying to make a study plan for the board exams. I am planning to do 3-4 years of PREP questions and some med study questions. However, when it comes to choosing a good review book I am getting very confused. All the books look good to me and I was wondering which book would be recommended. My options are first aid, laughing your way and PBR by ashish goyal.
I would be really grateful for the advice.
 

mvenus929

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I used the MedStudy books and thought they were good, but they read like a textbook.

Laughing Your Way is a good, quick review in the weeks leading up to the test, but I don't think it goes in enough detail to use a primary resource.

I haven't heard of anyone using First Aid for the Peds Boards.

I've heard good things about PBR, but haven't used it myself.
 
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BigRedBeta

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First rule is that board prep is 100% not the time to learn all the things you missed in a pediatrics residency (every place has knowledge gaps that they can't help). There's too much information to review already to waste time going over minutia in depth unless it is an item that continually shows up in your review questions across multiple sources (eg multiple years of PREP and in MedStudy). For that reason, Laughing + PREP can be sufficient for many people with UpToDate being a more relevant resource than MedStudy to fill in the blanks.

Second rule is that passing the ABP boards =\= being a good pediatrician in 2019. There's simply far less need for the sort of rote memorization of volumes and volumes of information when things are more readily available. So what you would do on the exam does not dictate what you should do in real life. This is part of the reason why MOCA-Peds was started for the recertifying process

Third rule, while it's generally thrown about as super useful, without a really good plan on how to attack it, Zitelli's is a waste of money and time. Most of the advice I got related to it was to look through it for the pictures, but for me that wasn't any where close to a proper way to retain anything.


LYW is the highest yield use of your time in my opinion, in part because it points out common tricks the test makers throw in on the regular. For example, they frequently use lab interpretation questions where the correct answer is "lab error" and without knowing that was the case, I know I would have been extremely reluctant to choose that as an answer. Instead, I was prepared, double checked to make sure that made sense as an answer and was able to quickly move onto the next question. Little pointers like that help to maximize your time.

PBR didn't exist when I was going through initial certification in 2012
 

saqrfaraj

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I used MedStudy to fill in knowledge gaps, LYW for review, and 5 years of PREP questions. This combination worked for me but may not be the best strategy for everyone. See if you can find copies of each resource to look over before you commit to purchasing.
 
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GoSpursGo

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Mostly did the MedStudy questions, which I agree were closer to the real exam question format. Didn't have time to do much reading otherwise.
 
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First rule is that board prep is 100% not the time to learn all the things you missed in a pediatrics residency (every place has knowledge gaps that they can't help). There's too much information to review already to waste time going over minutia in depth unless it is an item that continually shows up in your review questions across multiple sources (eg multiple years of PREP and in MedStudy). For that reason, Laughing + PREP can be sufficient for many people with UpToDate being a more relevant resource than MedStudy to fill in the blanks.

Second rule is that passing the ABP boards =\= being a good pediatrician in 2019. There's simply far less need for the sort of rote memorization of volumes and volumes of information when things are more readily available. So what you would do on the exam does not dictate what you should do in real life. This is part of the reason why MOCA-Peds was started for the recertifying process

Third rule, while it's generally thrown about as super useful, without a really good plan on how to attack it, Zitelli's is a waste of money and time. Most of the advice I got related to it was to look through it for the pictures, but for me that wasn't any where close to a proper way to retain anything.


LYW is the highest yield use of your time in my opinion, in part because it points out common tricks the test makers throw in on the regular. For example, they frequently use lab interpretation questions where the correct answer is "lab error" and without knowing that was the case, I know I would have been extremely reluctant to choose that as an answer. Instead, I was prepared, double checked to make sure that made sense as an answer and was able to quickly move onto the next question. Little pointers like that help to maximize your time.

PBR didn't exist when I was going through initial certification in 2012
Thank you! Your advice is really useful! :)
 

jennsmithmd

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Laughing Your Way is a good, quick review in the weeks leading up to the test, but I don't think it goes in enough detail to use a primary resource.

I haven't heard of anyone using First Aid for the Peds Boards.

I've heard good things about PBR, but haven't used it myself.
I have to agree. LYW is big on font and low on content as a primary resource, which is part of the reason I didn't pass on my first try. I used PBR and loved it. It reads easily and the order of topics in the books matches the order in the video course, which is a big help. I did much better and easily passed on my 2nd try with PBR. I also decide to go through the test taking technique course after getting Ashish's free PDF about how to answer board questions. I can dig it up if you want.
 

BabyDoc86

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I'm a PGY2, I've completed 3 years of PREP questions already (2015 - 2017), just got the MedStudy books (haven't opened yet). Is it too early to get LYW, as I take the test in Oct 2020?
 

GoSpursGo

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I'm a PGY2, I've completed 3 years of PREP questions already (2015 - 2017), just got the MedStudy books (haven't opened yet). Is it too early to get LYW, as I take the test in Oct 2020?
I think so. If you have time to actually do some MedStudy, this is the time to do it.

LYW is a great resource if reading is your thing, but it's definitely a review book that I'd pull out when you're in the home stretch ~3-6mo before test day. Right now focus on building your foundation of knowledge.
 
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BabyDoc86

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I think so. If you have time to actually do some MedStudy, this is the time to do it.

LYW is a great resource if reading is your thing, but it's definitely a review book that I'd pull out when you're in the home stretch ~3-6mo before test day. Right now focus on building your foundation of knowledge.
This was perfect, thanks!
 

settingqt31

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I loved PBR. I felt very overwhelmed with MedStudy and didn't have a solid study plan. My first attempt I missed passing by 1 point. I bought PBR and used the study schedule, listened to the videos/audio multiple times and felt very prepared going into boards. My score went up over 20 points and I was above national mean.
 

ericali

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PREP is not good as a simulator for the test. Med Study Q bank is far closer in terms of format and content. MedStudy for textbook, Laughing your Way for review 3 months prior to the test.
 
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cuddlycacti

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I've heard Med Study Qbank is good because it simulates the real exam. Trying to determine between MedStudy books LYW or PBR for books. Not a big audio/visual person.
 

FrkyBgStok

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For me, MedStudy was far to dense. If you feel like you need something for comprehensive review, MedStudy books are great. I don't know about PBR, but the LYW is fantastic but not nearly comprehensive enough. It will give you the high yield things to help jog your memory about the deeper stuff, but it is very superficial. MedStudy will take a lot more time to get through than you think. The books don't look that thick, but they are dense.

I didn't do MedStudy questions as my residency provided BoardVitals and I was pretty happy with that.
 

BigRedBeta

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Maybe there is a different MedStudy set of questions out there now, but what I had in 2012 was in no way representative of the board exam. Way, way denser and asked 5th and 6th order level questions that I never saw on any test. The gen peds MedStudy questions were harder than the Peds Critical Care boards I took in 2016.

Put it another way, I have always had good test taking skills so have never been intimidated by standardized test questions and yet the MedStudy questions actually made me cry with how obtuse they were.
 

mvenus929

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I've heard Med Study Qbank is good because it simulates the real exam.
The *style* of MedStudy questions simulates the real exam. The *topics* of the MedStudy questions are more esoteric and less likely to be directly tested.
 

applicant2016

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Between Medstudy questions and 3 years PREP questions, there are about 3000 questions... more than enough materiel to pass the boards, and it is a better use of your time than reading a textbook and forget everything the next day.