Monday, July 28, 2008

My Board Exam Experience

Hi, I'm Doctor Anonymous. Remember me? Probably not. I'm the guy who took a month away from his blog and from his show to focus on something silly like the American Board of Family Medicine recertification exam. I can't believe that it's been seven years since I completed my residency training. I've been in the same job for the past seven years, which I think is the exception to the rule. I've talked with a lot of my peers who have been at more than a handful of different jobs since finishing residency.

I know it's silly, but I still get a little anxious about the entire testing process. I've been reading, reviewing, and doing practice questions for the past few months or so. Overall, I think I was as ready as I was ever going to be going into the exam. People told me and I believe that getting adequate rest on the night before the exam is key. However, as always happens, I didn't sleep very well the night before the exam.

As you'll see from the video posted above, this is me on test day. It's kind of a three act play. The first part is me barely awake kind of being a little reflective on the process and sounding a little scared and anxious going into the thing. The second act is me right around lunch time after my morning session and before my afternoon session of testing. And, the final act is thoughts following the exam and the "screw-up" that happened that hopefully will not affect my score.

Thanks again to everyone who left supportive comments and wrote supportive e-mails during the past month. You have no idea how much that helped me and kept me going with the positive attitude - and kept me focused. I'm slowly getting back into the blog and will be bringing back the show this week.


Anonymous said...

dude ever since I met you I knew we would freaking be best friends if you lived closer. I have been praying my ass off for you and this test and prep time. When will you know the results? Maybe you said in the video but I am on my iPhone and can't view it. Thanks!

Dr. A said...

Thanks so much DG! I really appreciate it. They say I'll find out in 4-6 wks or so, but as you'll see from the video, I'm not quite sure of that...

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness it's all behind you... My exam is on August 18th and I won't feel relaxed until it's done. Gotta go do some practice questions now... :)

#1 Dinosaur said...

Hey, this was only your first re-cert? Check this out: Three times and going strong.

Dreaming again said...

hmmm Dr. Val your re-cert is same day as I start school.

Dr. A congrats on getting the boards past you!

Can't wait to get the show started again!!

Mary said...

Woo HOOOO! Yes! This might just have been the longest month ever. I missed you soooo much! I way can't wait for the next show! Awesome having you back and congrats getting through all this exam stuff in one piece! I'm proud of you! :) Oh my goodness, I'm so glad you're back! Anyway. Thanks for keeping us updated as often as you did, and for twittering so much so that we knew how you were doing! Gosh, this is an awefully long comment, but I guess that just goes to show how glad I am! But I'll cut it short now by just saying that I'm happy your back and can't wait for Thursday!

. . . also. . yay again! okaybye.

ps- :o watch yer language in them videos! Children are watching! (well, just me, but according to pk and others, I am a child lol!)

alright now bye. . . yep.

Anonymous said...


I think it is a nice time of exam.

Anonymous said...

Dr. A:
Just came across your blog. I'm completely immersed in studying for the Dec., 2009 exam since I failed the July, 10 percentage points. I have been retired from clinical practice for almost 6 years; but my work in patient education materials requires that I maintain certification in the Boards. It seems that the 3-day primary care course that I attended shortly before the July boards plus my need to read medical literature almost daily didn't do me much good in July. So, I successfully bid on eBay for a full set of AAFP Board Review materials (you know the deal--- 1700 pages of materials and a stack of 50 DVDs) that a new grad back East wanted to unload.

So---a little bit of stress right now as I am way under the gun to pass the exam in December, and this isn't helped by my clearly understanding that I have been a lousy test-taker for decades. At the same time, I frequently remind myself that this whole deal is less stressful than managing a distorted, difficult airway after having given the patient an appropriate dose of succinylcholine. Hmmmm....those cords must be here someplace past the huge squamous cell CA that I'm peering at.......... Wanna get me a cric. tray?