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Category Archives for "Study Schedule & Tips"

Articles included in this category help you map out a plan of attack for study for your particular board exam.

Your Ultimate Guide to Pediatric CME Credits

Physicians are always studying for something. Whether you’re taking your boards or continuing education, there are so many things to do and so many tasks to handle.

We see opportunities pop up for CME (Continuing Medical Education) credits all the time. Unfortunately, they’re never as convenient as they should be, and worse—they’re expensive, or they offer too few credits for too much work. Also, CME credits are not all the same! It’s hard to keep track of what counts as what.

We’re here to take all of the doubt and uncertainty out of CME credits.

What Are the Different Types of CME Credits?

There are two types of CME credits. They differ based on the way they’re administered and in the way that you’re required to report them. The categories are:

  • AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™
  • AMA PRA Category 2 Credits™

What’s the Difference?

AMA PRA Category 1 Credit

AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ are the most commonly accepted form of CME credits. They are managed by the American Medical Association (AMA) and reward you with the Physicians Recognition Award (PRA). To earn these credits, physicians must engage in learning activities that have been accredited by one of two organizations: the Accreditation Council for Continuing Education (ACCME) or an ACCME-recognized state medical society.

There are many accredited providers of CMEs out there. The types of activities in which you can earn CMEs will fall under one of two categories: Live Activities or Enduring Material. As the name suggests, Live Activities are any activities that you attend in a live capacity. Enduring Material includes any activity that is not live and can endure over time. Meaning, the material appears in print or was previously recorded.

When you’re checking to determine whether an activity is certified for an AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™, look for this statement:

“The [name of accredited CME provider] designates this [learning format] for a maximum of [number of credits] AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.”

What Are AMA PRA Category 2 Credits?

AMA PRA Category 2 Credits are sometimes referred to as “self-study” CME credits. These credits are given for activities that are not recognized as Category 1 credits. WARNING! Physicians are responsible for documenting and keeping track of all their Category 2 credits! You will not receive documentation about the CME credit from the accredited organization. Additionally, documentation should include the type of activity, subject matter, dates, and the number of credits claimed.

These activities must meet strict guidelines from the AMA definition of CMEs, comply with AMA ethical opinions, and not be promotional in nature.

Pediatrician working on laptop

How Many CME Credits Do I Need?

The total number of CME credits that you need per year varies from state to state, but the amount is typically 100 CME credits within a 1- to 2-year span. Check with your state medical association to get the exact number.

Acquiring 100 credits can be daunting! It can take multiple, week-long conferences to earn the required CME credits, or it could take countless 3-credit courses—taken over evenings and lunchtime seminars. CME credits are a necessity, but they’re far from convenient.

What is the Easiest Way to Get CME Credits?

The easiest way to get your pediatric CME credits is through the Pediatrics Board Review CME Edition of the All Access Pass.

Here are the benefits of getting CME through Pediatrics Board Review:

  • We make it extremely easy for you to claim your CME credits through our easy-to-use CME portal. You will go through a short assessment and get your credits immediately in an efficient, user-friendly manner.
  • We offer over 200 CME credits. You can mix and match between hardcopy books, an audio course, a video course and even live ASK THE EXPERT webinars. You can literally pick from our numerous formats to get exactly what you want. Remember, you typically only need 100 CME credits, so 200 is an abundance of riches. Also, you do NOT have to claim all of your CME at once. So, if you time your membership and CME activities appropriately, one 12-month membership can give you all of the CME credit you’ll need for TWO cycles of CME!
  • You don’t have to rush to get to an evening seminar or spend a week at a convention. It’s all right there in your hands, in your home, or at work.
  • The resources are proven to be effective and give you excellent continuing pediatric medical education. For pediatricians studying for the ABP Initial Certification exam, or the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) exam, our estimated first-time pass rate has been approximately 99% for many years in a row.
  • PBR’s lectures and webinars are designed by Dr. Ashish Goyal, a pediatrician who knows how to teach. The content is always provided in an easy-to-follow and easy-to-understand format, and PBR has frequently been praised for its ability to “simplify the complex.”
  • You get all the expertise, but with less reading, better understanding, and greater retention.
  • It comes with a 100% Money-Back First-Time Guarantee. We mean it.
  • Personalized support and camaraderie is available through a private, online forum of members of the PBR community.

How Can I Best Use My CME Budget?

We make it easy to maximize your CME budget by giving you the best value for your money. Whether it’s a question involving how to pay, who should pay, or even custom documentation needed to get approval of the CME purchase, we can help you.

Plus, we can customize your rebate to help you maximize your budget, your method of payment, your professional expenses for your tax return, and more! Rebates range from $100 to $2000.

Can I Also Get ABP MOC Points for Participating in CME Activities?

With the All Access Pass, you not only get AMA PRA Category 1 credits, but if you are board certified, then you are also entitled to ABP MOC Part 2 Points. PBR’s CME activities qualify you for both requirements with one product.

Can I Split Up the All Access Pass Into More than One Year?

Yes! The CME Edition (of the All Access Pass) offers over 200 AMA PRA Category 1 credits. If you only need some of these credits for your current accreditation cycle, you can save the remaining credits for the next cycle—as long as it’s within 12 months of your membership’s start date.

So, for example, if you only need to earn 100 credits this year, then you can use the CME Edition of the All Access Pass and claim 100 CME credits this year, and claim the remaining 100 credits in January of next year's cycle.

Conclusion

You need your CME credits from somewhere, so why not get them in the most convenient way with a Money Back First-Time Pass Guarantee? Plus, you may be entitled to a $2000 rebate! So, what are you waiting for?

Click Here & Claim Your CME Credits Now!

Pediatric Board Study Tips for Pediatric Residents

A pediatric residency is three years, and during that time you can lose a lot of the good study habits and test-taking skills that you gained during medical school. And let’s face it—when you’re in your residency, you’re not always hitting the books. You’re probably working 80-hour weeks during your residency and it can seem impossible to get any studying done for the pediatric boards.

But there are small habits that you can get into during your residency that will better prepare you for your pediatric boards—little things that may not seem like much at the time, but they really do make a difference.

It’s easy to procrastinate and push the boards to the back of our minds because they’re not coming up right away. This is a bad strategy. The boards will happen at the end of your residency, and when they do come, you’re going to wish you had spent more time preparing for them.

So what can you do to study for your pediatric boards during your residency?

Studying For Your Pediatric Boards During Pediatric Inpatient Rotations

When you’re doing an inpatient pediatric rotation, you’re often moving at a frantic pace. You’re probably working with eight to ten patients, moving from one to the next (and the next and the next…). Here’s what you can do. Stop for a moment, maybe 1-3 minutes, to study the biggest problem with each patient.

You don’t even need to sit down at a computer. In the hall, pull up the PBR study guide on your phone and search for their primary condition, read a brief synopsis on the topic, or dive a little deeper if you have a problem that’s stumping you. This micro-studying approach will take very little time, but by the end of the shift you will have familiarized yourself with board-relevant information that you can also share during morning rounds to amaze your attending physician.

This process alone will put you ahead of 90% of the pack because most pediatric residents put off studying for their boards until the last possible moment. Then comes the mad scramble to relearn everything they’ve forgotten and learn about many new disorders they never even had the opportunity to encounter during residency.

Pediatric resident studying on a cell phone

Studying For Your Pediatric Boards During Elective Rotations

Pediatric board study tips for when you are on elective rotations revolve around using that time to read through at least one full chapter. There are some sections of the pediatric boards, like infectious disease, for example, that are in-depth and require some major study. While you’re working on an elective rotation, you’ll have more time to devote to entire chapters of the study guide—especially when it’s related to the elective rotation you’re working on. So, while you’re doing cardiology, study your pediatric cardiology chapter. While you’re doing a neonatology rotation, study your neonatology chapter.

It’s easier to learn about cardiology while you’re surrounded by cardiology patients and a cardiologist. It’s easier to learn about infectious disease while you’re immersed in an infectious diseases rotation and you have an attending physician to discuss topics with every day.

Maintain Your Studying Skills and Develop Test-Taking Skills

Test taking is about knowing the material and having good test-taking skills. You have to know the information, be good about time management, understand the question formats, and recognize patterns. While in medical school, you were a studier because that was your one job. Once you’re deep into residency, it can become very difficult to establish good study habits due to fatigue and distractions from your real job.

Since the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) initial certification exam will be the hardest exam of your life, it’s important to put in the right amount of time and effort to pass the exam. To best prepare, first off, use our Risk Calculator. This will determine your risk profile for failing the boards and provide a clear plan based on that profile. Here are some of the danger signs we look for in the Risk Calculator:

  • A history of struggling to pass ANY medical board exam
  • A history of board scores that are usually lower than the national average
  • Residency training at an “at risk” residency program
  • And there are more. (You can find our entire list of risk factors here.)

Once you know your risk profile, you can choose a study method that’s best for you. Our study guides emphasize three things: Content, Technique, and Commitment. All three are essential for you to pass the pediatric boards. You must know the content inside and out, which means that even a moderate amount of studying throughout your residency will help immensely. You must develop good testing technique, which means taking the time to understand how to process different types of board-style questions and then practicing your new test-taking skills until you master them. And, you must have the commitment to follow through with these things throughout your residency.

A three-year residency may seem like a long time to prepare for your boards, but it’s only useful if you are steadily doing some work during those years. This is not a test that you can cram for at the last minute.

Studying is Easier With a Partner

We know, through experience, that studying is considerably more effective if it’s done with a partner. So, we’ve prepared our programs with a considerable discount if a fellow resident signs up for our study guides with you. You’ll both have the benefit of our efficiency-driven study tools and materials, all for a lower price. Plus, you’ll have a partner to bounce ideas back and forth, get immediate feedback, quiz one another, and have much needed moral support. There’s no underestimating the value of a good study partner.

Make Use of Your Book Fund

If a book fund is available to you through your residency program, you can use those funds with Pediatric Board Review to get our courses and study guides. We are very accustomed to working with department staff to get orders processed quickly. This is a great way to maximize every dollar at your disposal!

Stretch Your Studying Over Years

If you’re a PGY1 or PGY2 needing access for multiple years, you can also get massive discounts through PBR. So, not only are you getting the benefit of starting your studying early during the early years of your pediatric residency training, but you’re able to save money too! It’s a win-win.

Over the last decade, PBR has helped over 10,000 pediatricians prepare for their board exams. We’re excited to help you on this journey!

Click Here & Learn More About Our Study Guides & Resident Packages!

You Failed the Pediatric Boards in 2022? Here’s What to Do Next.

So, You Failed the Pediatric Boards in 2022. Now What?

Failed the Pediatric Boards? - Try A New Plan!

A failed pediatric boards attempt is devastating and having failed once myself I can only imagine what is going through your head.

But before you throw yourself back into the depths of studying, here are two things I want you to understand:

  1. Failing the boards doesn’t make you a bad pediatrician.
  1. Passing the pediatric boards in 2023 will have more to do with having a comprehensive strategy rather than a board review resource.

I have found that the biggest differentiating factor between failing and passing the boards is having a schedule that takes a more strategic approach to studying and keeps you accountable.

Almost 50% of the pediatricians who buy our study guides have failed the pediatric boards before. With the right plan in place, though, you can pass. We know this because we have helped multiple people pass after as many as SEVEN failed attempts.

My goal in writing this article is to outline a detailed schedule that will help you pass the boards, even if you’ve had a failed attempt. Specifically, how to do so with materials that will HELP you (not fail you) during your next pediatric board exam.

Some housekeeping items before jumping into the schedule:

  • Your failure(s) on the boards may have been due to a lack of knowledge or because you have a poor handle on test-taking. For most people reading this article, failure is the result of a combination of both of those factors. Following this 16-week schedule will give you the pediatric knowledge that you need to pass the boards. For help with test-taking strategy, poor attention to detail, falling for traps, pacing, and you must also start to explore solutions through the PBR article on test-taking strategy.
  • Throughout this study schedule, you’ll find references to the AAP PREP® questions you should be practicing with. Please keep in mind that PREP® questions should NOT be used to study. PREP® questions, along with other question bank queries, should be used to help you master your test-taking strategy. You can learn much more about why we recommend this and how to best use the AAP questions here.
  • If you are a first-time test taker, and you:
    • Consider yourself a decent test-taker,
    • Have done well on past board exams, or,
    • Come from a residency program with a high passing rate,

Then this schedule isn’t right for you.

Go check out my 14-week study schedule for first-time test takers. That schedule is similar to the one below but less rigorous!

THE “ASHISH GOYAL” HIGHLIGHTER TRICK

Highlights of the 2019 Pediatrics Board Review Edition

As you go through this schedule, try this great highlighter trick that I teach my PBR members as a focused studying tool. If you can master this, you will have a more efficient board preparation experience.

For each reading of the material, you highlight (or underline) only the areas you are interested in reviewing again. If you know something well enough to recall it on the day of the exam, don’t highlight it.

First, start with your lightest color. Then, with each read through thereafter, use a slightly Click Here And Continue Reading…

Passing the Pediatric Boards – The 3 MUST HAVE Ingredients

The 3 MUST HAVE Ingredients for Board Success

3 Key Ingredients to Passing the Pediatric BoardsPassing the the pediatric boards is challenging, but it's far from magic. In this article I'm going to introduce you to the 3 main areas you must focus on to pass the boards. If you don't, then even as a good pediatrician you will be at high risk for failing the boards.

By the end, you will have a much better handle on the general framework within which you will need to focus your energy. I predict that it's going to be quite liberating for you!

Let's start with a few stories…

Each year after the pediatric board results are released, I ask PBR members for feedback. “How was it for you?” The replies vary considerably, but there are specific overwhelming emotions which come through time and time again;

Relief

a big weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I feel lighter and free.”

– “Dr. Wiseman”

Celebration

“My family and I celebrated all day long. We cried tears of happiness knowing the endless hours of studying are over AND payed off!”

– “Shy Doc”

Gratitude Click Here And Continue Reading…

A Pediatric Board Study Schedule with Step-By-Step Instructions

Why You DO Need A Study Schedule for the Pediatric Boards

Map out Your Study Schedule

I often get asked questions along the lines of…

Can you give me a general pediatric board study schedule?”

I'm in practice and very busy. Can you provide me with a pediatric board study plan that's going to work for me?

Can you provide a pediatric board study schedule for those of us with an erratic schedule because we're in fellowship?

The answer to all of these questions is "yes." But, when you’re preparing for your pediatric board exam, the most essential first step is to map out a dedicated amount of time for your studying based on your personal availability and the recommendations in this article. If you are a first-time test taker, and you:

  • Graduated from a US medical school
  • Have done well on prior board exams
  • Scored above a 222 on the USMLE Step 1
  • Come from a residency program with a high passing rate, and
  • Have done well on your most recent In-Training Exam

Then you are likely at low risk for failing the pediatric boards, and this is the study plan for you! For low-risk test-takers, I recommend finding a MINIMUM of 300 hours to block out in your schedule, with plans to go through your Pediatrics Board Review material at least THREE times.

Click Here Now & Go Through the Full PBR Risk Calculator

Please remember, though, a schedule is only as valuable as your DETERMINATION to follow it. In this article, I break down those 300 hours into a manageable, concrete schedule that you can use to guide your studies and PASS the pediatric boards

I Recommend 300 Hours

Since it’s impossible for me to know exactly what your commitments are, what I’ve tried to do below is map out 14 weeks of study time based on the goal of studying approximately 300 hours.

Even if you do not agree with everything I recommend, keep reading to get some ideas that you can incorporate into your own board preparation plan. At the end of this article, I also share some pearls of wisdom towards to help you manage all of the study time that will be needed to pass your boards!

What If I'm at "Moderate to High Risk" of Failing the Pediatric Boards?

If the risk calculator helped you realize that you are at moderate or high-risk for failing the boards, don’t worry! I've created a 16-week study schedule to help you succeed on the boards! The recommendations in the other article are tailored towards graduates who were told that they were "at risk" of failing the boards based on their in-training exam scores, and those who have already failed the boards at least once.

Click Here And Continue Reading...

Passing the Pediatric Board Exam – Maximizing CRUNCH Time

Don't have any regrets!When it comes to passing the pediatric board exam, all logic and reason can get thrown out the window during “crunch time.”

In this article, I want to share some resources and tips to help you calm the nerves, help you focus on maximizing your chances at passing the pediatric boards and most of all… ensure that at the end of the test-taking process you have absolutely NO REGRETS!

What Should I Do When It's “Crunch Time?”

Well, let’s answer all the following questions:

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS (AAP) PREP DISCLAIMER

  • Should I Be Doing A Ton Of PREP Questions?
  • What Are The Best Pediatric Board Review Books For Me To Study?
  • What’s the BIGGEST “Bang For The Buck” At CRUNCH TIME?
  • What’s the ONE THING I Can Do to LEARN MORE EFFECTIVELY?
  • What Should I Do If I Have Questions About A Topic That’s Confusing Me?
  • Is Passing the Pediatric Board Exam Realistic for Me?

Should I Be Doing A Ton Of PREP Questions?

I answer this question in detail in a Pediatrics Board Review article titled, “How Many AAP PREP Questions Should I Do?

In summary, the idea behind using ANY sort of board questions should be for PRACTICE. It is NOT to learn board-relevant content. For that, you should be focusing on a single, primary study resource (called the PBR).

This means that you don’t aim to learn new content from those questions. Your aim should be to practice your test-taking SKILLS. When I refer to “test taking skills,” I mean…

  • Are you falling for traps?
  • Are you reading the English within the actual question carefully?
  • Are you extracting the appropriate information from the clinical vignette?
  • Are you keeping a steady pace, and able to LET GO of a question when it is one that is…
    • Taking you forever to think through?
    • About a topic that you KNOW you are weak in?
    • Is SUPER long?

“Click

Passing the board exam requires a blend of strong board-relevant clinical knowledge, plus test-taking skills. Many physicians do not realize this and they continue to fail over and over again. They assume that board questions are like miniature patients, but they are not! Click Here And Continue Reading…