Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Anesthesia Oral Boards

I recently received a comment request and was surprised because I have not posted on this blog in such a long time. The comment came from someone dating a physician. Her sincere concerns caused me to reflect on the years of training and the challenges therein.

I felt impressed to look at my blog again.

I found this post buried from years ago.

Oral Boards.

Two words that can strike great fear in one's heart, whether in anticipation or in recollection. While my husband was studying for his oral boards, he actually developed some sort of weird auto immune disease. It quickly disappeared after he completed them. It was such a stressful time. He studied every minute possible, he met together with other residents and studied late into the night, he set up practice boards with multiple faculty members, and he was continuously listening to oral board review CD's any time that he could. We went to visit family one Sunday and he, (as well as the rest of us in the family who were sitting in the minivan during the drive), listened to his CD's there and back.

I thought about writing up a synopsis of what happens during an oral board exam but found a great description here: Advice for Passing the Oral Board Exams in Anesthesiology. Please note that this advice is specifically for Anesthesia Oral Boards.

Here are the main bullet points that are made on the website referenced above:


1. Read Miller's Anesthesia cover to cover.
2. Be well trained. Work hard during residency. Do challenging cases, study and read about those cases before and after the anesthetic. Attend the department lectures, and mortality and morbidity conferences.
3. Download and memorize the algorithms in the Stanford Emergency Manual/Cognitive Aid for Perioperative Critical Events.
4. Set up mock-oral practice exams.

Some interesting advice from the website:
1. Try not to ask questions. Use your time to answer questions.
2. There is no one right answer for most clinical scenario questions. Be prepared to justify who you chose the plan you chose.
3. If you don't know an answer it's better to say "I don't know" than to blunder and guess.
4. Make eye contact with the examiner throughout.

It is incredible to read through the example of cases and all of the possible follow up questions involving preoperative management and intraoperative management.

There is great information on the ABA website as well, including videos of what to expect during Oral Board exams.

Phew. So grateful my husband go through that. It was stressful for me just to read all of this information.

Good luck if you are currently preparing to take your oral boards!

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