With boards approaching, it’s always important to remember that, as residents, you’re not alone. People have come before you and felt this stress. And there are plenty of people right beside you who are feeling the same way. I caught up with some residents and asked them to share some of their thoughts related to the upcoming certifying exam in hopes that we can all appreciate and remember that we are all in this together.
What’s the one thing you fear the most when thinking about the board exam?
- Failing or feeling unprepared, which will then cause me to fail.
- Preparing for the exam.
- Wondering if I’ve studied enough.
- Not being prepared or not feeling confident going into the test.
- I don’t even know. Studying the right way? I’m worried that I won’t study in a way in which I can apply the knowledge on the exam.
Can you share a study tip/technique you think could be useful to other fellow residents?
- Try to do as many questions as possible (5000+).
- Use the outlines provided by the ABD and go through the points one by one while using all of your resources to fully learn everything about these points.
- Do lots of questions! At our residency program, they drilled genodermatoses into our brains in the first few months of residency. Now, I don’t feel like I have to study them anymore, so that has been a nice burden that has been lifted.
- Prioritize questions above everything else. If you have an hour or less free, do as many questions as you can in that time.
- Lots and lots of outlines! They are the most helpful, because they test your knowledge.
- Get a good foundation for your knowledge and try to see and understand everything within the bigger picture. Do all of the nitty gritty stuff within the big picture.
- Evernote is a great note taking tool. You can cut out useful illustrations from textbooks and annotate them with your own notes, which you can then review later.
How do you plan to celebrate once you pass the boards?
- Take a trip!
- Go out and party!
- Start fellowship and maybe take a trip.
- Dinner at Bern’s Steakhouse in Tampa.
- Probably something small. Maybe just go out to dinner. I’m kind of a boring person.
- Take a trip and not think about anything for a while.
- Take a week off and do something fun!
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