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Does A Failed Pediatric Board Exam Mean You’re a Bad Pediatrician?

In my mind, the answer to the question to this question is a resounding NO! Have you heard that joke?

“What do they call the guy who graduates at the bottom of his medschool class?”


But what if you fail the pediatric boards? Our profession is filled with high stress situations, but at the end of the journey there is supposed to be a reward. Happiness. Fulfillment. A sense of accomplishment.

While I'm guessing that more than 95% of your fellow interns made it through residency, did you know that the ABP initial certification exam has been DESIGNED to fail up to 25% of pediatricians? I was shocked to find this out and wish I had a clue prior to taking the boards for the first time.

Why? Well, I failed the pediatric board by about 9 questions the first time I took it. Fortunately, I was able to turn everything around and blow away the boards the second time around. I am NOT a bad pediatrician, and I KNOW that passing (or failing) a board certification exam does not dictate your level of skill a a clinician.

In fact, the two are so “unrelated” that the best Medical Board Review Exam Coach isn't even IN the medical field, and I was able to increase my score on the second time around by over 130 points!

Coach IllustrationAbout PBR's Coach, you won't believe it either. She could be your grandmother… but she's helped HUNDREDS of physicians finally pass medical board exam and attain that feeling of liberation after failing multiple times.

And she's been doing it for DECADES.

I'm doing everything I can to put together a program for a handful of PBR members finally get over this crazy exam and move on with their lives. The course usually sells out by March for the entire year, so if you're interested in learning more, click here to learn more and see if the PBR Coaching course is right for you:


PBR COACHING is now fully digital and a purely online based program.

Also, if you're wondering about the implications of a failed pediatric board exam, consider reading the PBR article titled, “Could Your State REQUIRE Pediatric Board Certification To Practice?” While your livelihood may not be dictated by board certification just yet, the article will give you an idea as to where the country is headed. If you haven't become a board-certified pediatrician yet, the article is a must read.

To conclude, I firmly believe that there is a lot more that goes into being a “good pediatrician” than board certification. Unfortunately, for many institutions board certification has become a must, and is therefore necessary for most pediatricians. That's what the Pediatrics Board Review is here for, and I hope you take full advantage of all the resources that PBR has to offer.

There's a core study guide, a Q&A book, an online version of each, iPad and iPhone compatibility for the core study guide, a Roadmap to Success, tons of great articles on the site, and even a Discord community specifically for PBR members.

Have questions? Just hit the contact button above and fire away.

– Ashish

P.S.In 2011, PBR Coaching worked with TEN pediatricians who failed their initial board certification exam. Some of them failed MULTIPLE times. Guess how many passed after working with us? NINE!

Ashish Goyal, M.D.

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