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Can I Improve Pediatrics In-Training Exam Scores For Myself? Or For My Program?

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.


PBR Gets 100% SatisfactionWhile I did get some great “feedback” on how I can make the PBR system even better, check out these stats:

  • 100% of the respondents were happy to have found PBR.
  • 0% said they wished they had used something else.


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 board-focused preparation during residency. The other topic that came up was about how to improve pediatrics in-training exam scores in an effort to get residents ready for the boards (about 20% of respondents commented on this).

For a lot of residents (and residency programs), their pediatrics in-training exam scores are BAD! I know that my own in-training scores were “less than impressive” during my pediatric residency training. So, reflecting over “how things could have been different” back then, I definitely wish there had been a better system in place. Had there been such a system, it's possible I would have never failed the pediatric boards the first time around.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I am NOT blaming residency program directors. I definitely understand that trying to improve pediatrics in-training exam scores is not easy. And with so many different rotations, rotation sites and work hour rules, it's next to impossible to integrate everything into one single, homogenous educational strategy that covers every single resident.


There are a BUNCH! There are answers that specifically focus on residents, and there are answers that specifically focus on residency programs as a whole.

Let’s start by looking at ideas for pediatric residents. Over the coming weeks I'll be sharing those ideas. I hope you’ll find some time to take part in the discussion and give me your thoughts. I’m sure you have ideas on how residents can do things differently to improve pediatrics in-training exam scores for themselves. You probably also have ideas about how residency programs could change their strategy as a whole.

Here’s a sneak peak at some of the articles that you can expect to see in the coming weeks:

Do you have some ideas too? Anything you’re hoping I’ll discuss? I’d love to hear your comments. I read EVERY single comment, so please share your thoughts below!

Ashish Goyal, M.D.

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