Boards Buzz

Life has been much better for T and me. We are no longer swimming in boxes, only lightly wading in them. Our house is looking great and I got an awesome bedding set for the guest room bed yesterday. Everything was looking up and worries were focused on Christmas celebration and planning and finishing up nursery purchases, which can’t really happen until we have our baby shower next weekend and have a better idea of what items we will need to purchase.

But something has been looming for months. My pediatric board results.

I expected to receive them in mid-January so had pretty much forgotten about them for the past few months.

Pediatric board exams are pretty intense, especially for first-time test-takers. For three years (and pretty much our entire medical careers) we have been working up to the Pediatric Boards, an 8-hour exam with about 350 questions that tests us on our pediatric knowledge. It’s an intense experience and quite difficult – first we have intermittent experiences trying to study for three years, then there’s taking a few thousand practice questions, then there are the nights after nights between graduating from residency and the boards (usually in mid-October) which are consumed with studying and worrying about failure to pass.

Taking the boards is ultimately cathartic because it feels so good to be done, but when you take and exam and find out you won’t know if it was worth the $2K or not for about 4 months, you get a little bitter. Then you forget about it all and go on with your life.

So I awoke at 6:30 ready to check some emails of people maybe commenting on our jungle theme for the nursery. Instead,  the first email that pops up is that my board exam results are available for viewing. Immediately my eyes go wide and my heart races. The moment of truth. Was it all worth it? Did I pass?

So I click. Click again. Darn, don’t remember my ABP password for the life of me. . .ok, got it. Scan scan scan the .pdf file in front of me. I passed!! I think I became even more panicked AFTER finding out my board results than I was beforehand. Good gracious, holy @#*(, I can’t believe that I’m really a board certified pediatrician.  It is crazy and wonderful and lovely to know that I really could do it. And such a relief.

Now to enjoy the holidays! And I promise, photos will be up soon of what we have so far.

4 thoughts on “Boards Buzz”

  1. congratulations on passing the board. Can you pls tell me what books you used to study for the board? Because I had failed it for 4 times and I need to pass it next year and I am planning to change my study style and material.

    1. I studied about 3 hours a day for 2 months and used Medstudy with 2 sets of Medstudy questions, PREP (2008-2010), the Laughing your Way Series, and a set of notecards I made from scratch throughout my residency and board study which I had organized by discipline. For example, I printed pictures of genetic disorders and put them on flashcards with detailed outlines of each disorder. Lastly I had a board lecture series in .mp3 format and attended a board review a few weeks before to make sure my knowledge was solid. Near the end, it helped to study with other people and quiz each other on boards topics. Best of luck in passing in the future.

      1. Also, I made sure to complete as many questions as possible, and tried to do them twice if I could. I tried to do around 200-300 questions in one day a few times toward the last weeks of study. Lastly, on the day before the exam I relaxed completely and didn’t study at all. Trust me, last minute cramming just is NOT worth it.

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