As doctors, most of us were in the top 10% of our class until we hit medical school, but that doesn't mean it’s easy for us to retain the vast amounts of knowledge necessary to pass the pediatric boards. I remember the overwhelming feeling of being crushed by all of the information I was being bombarded with during my studies.
It wasn't until I learned how to create pediatric mnemonics and memory aids that I was finally able to feel comfortable with the idea of housing all of that information in my brain. The mnemonics I created were essential in helping me retain information and pass the USMLE Step exams as well as the pediatric initial certification exam.
So, unless you’ve got a photographic memory, I’d highly recommend spending some time learning memory techniques.
“The [PBR] mnemonics were stellar, if not a little goofy , but that just added to their utility. I will likely remember some the mnemonics for the rest of my life, especially the autosomal dominant diseases. – Dr. Kristen Macleod” – Read Kristen's full testimonial by clicking HERE.
In a nutshell, mnemonics are memory aid devices that can help you to remember difficult to absorb information.
Does the name ROY G BIV sound familiar? Click Here And Continue Reading…
Improving pediatric residency in-training exam scores can be challenging. In this PBR article, we look at “tech” and whether or not new “tech” is better than tried and true methods.
I’ve always been a huge advocate of embracing technology as it relates to medicine and accelerating learning. Especially when your time is almost nonexistent, like when you're in pediatric residency, the speed with which you can locate information is a valuable asset.
The growth and the availability of e-books and online study materials have certainly expanded the number of resources available to medical students and residents. Traditional study materials, where a student spends vast amounts of time pouring over textbooks, are quickly being replaced by electronic and digital resources.
Pediatrics Board Review (PBR) has tried to embrace many of the advantages offered by technology, so both the PBR Core Study Guide and the PBR Question and Answer book have been made available for access on iPads, iPhones and via your desktop computer.
There’s a growing body of evidence which indicates that the brain absorbs information from transmitted light differently to information received from reflected light. The visual cortex processes Click Here And Continue Reading…
Propinqua-what? And what does that have to do with improving in-training exam scores?
The word is PROPINQUITY!
In a recent article titled, “Tips #1 & 2 – Start Early & Work Smart!” I talk about the direct correlation between residency in-training exam scores and the number of hospital admissions a resident does. I also discuss a study which shows that in-training exam scores do in fact act as indicators of a resident’s ability to pass the board certification exam.
In this article, I’ll talk about improving in-training exam scores by using propinquity. I was recently introduced to the idea of propinquity while reading Influencer: The Power to Change Anything, by Kerry Patterson. The book discusses strategies used by some of the most influential people around the world to influence change in all different aspects of life.
Webster defines propinquity as “nearness in place or time.” In the book, one of the sources of influence is the environment. The idea here is that that in many situations, you can effect change by modifying the environmental relationship of one variable with another. By altering the relationship of place or time between variables.
Now, let’s think of an example of how this concept might be utilized within pediatric residency programs to increase in-training exam scores.
Meet this set of twin sisters, Dr. Tracy Smith and Dr. Penny Smith. Both went to the same college. Both went to the same medical school. Both scored similarly on the MCAT as well as their USMLE Step exams. Their scores were never amazing, but they did well enough to pass. They’re both now pediatric residents, but Click Here And Continue Reading…
In the PBR article called “Can I Improve Pediatrics In-Training Exam Scores For Myself? Or For My Program?” I released survey results from recent test-takers who took their pediatric boards in October. It was clear that the lack of “early board-focused preparation during residency” is a prevalent theme across pediatric residency programs across the country. While residents can hope that their program will do a good job of preparing them for the boards, residents can’t really expect this unless there’s a proven track record within the institution for success on the boards.
Keeping that in mind, I’m now writing a series of articles about how residents can take matters into their own hands to increase their residency in-training exam scores and potentially their chances of passing the boards as well.
Let’s start with 2 very important questions. Then, I'll give you 2 very simple recommendations that could set you on the right path starting NOW towards studying for the pediatric in-service exam and ultimately PASSING the pediatric boards!
According to a study published in the Journal of Pediatrics, the answer is YES! The study revealed that Click Here And Continue Reading…
Have you heard? The initial certification exam for the pediatric boards was LAST WEEK! I performed a survey afterwards because I wanted to know how well my Pediatrics Board Review (PBR) system prepared PBR members for the exam. I also wanted to know how to better prepare pediatricians and pediatric residents for the boards.
Almost 50% of the respondents commented on how they wish they had the PBR available to them during their residency training. There was a ton of great discussion between the members of the PBR community and myself about how things could have been different, and should be different, when it comes to preparing for this brutal exam.
One of the most prevent themes was the lack of early Click Here And Continue Reading…