Did You Fail the Pediatric Boards?

failed pediatric boards

So your exam didn’t go as planned. There is no way to sugar coat it- you failed the Pediatric boards. Now you are faced with another round of studying and need to retake the exam. But before you sink into the depths of dread, you need to know two things:

  1. Understand how to study can make the process more efficient
  2. Understand how the exam is written can make your test taking more strategic.

According to the American Board of Pediatrics, in 2022, 80% of first-time test takers passed the pediatric boards. You are not alone in needed to retake the exam. If you fail the boards, you can retake the exam – the American Board of Pediatrics give candidates seven years from the completion of training to become certified.

Did you fail the Pediatric boards? This time around, you’ll need a strategic approach to taking the exam the second time around. 

Rethink the Exam Content

The board is not designed to test you based on the curriculum of your classes. It doesn’t need your understanding of the fine details of pediatric skin disorders. Forget about quoting facts and figures of childhood diseases- that’s not what this test is about. The board exam is written to test your ability to get the right diagnosis and that means you have to master two elements: pattern recognition and knowing associations. Remember that – it’ll be the roadmap for your new study strategy.

Laser Focus Your Studies

If you can take a set of symptoms, physical signs, and/or laboratory values and translate them into a particular diagnosis, you’re good to go- that’s pattern recognition. If you can recognize medical “buzzwords” and use them to come up with the right diagnosis, you are all set with the “knowing associations” element.

When it comes to specific topics, the American Board of Pediatrics has actually made it rather straightforward by providing all test takers with a detailed blueprint for the exam. They have a particular set they like to emphasize for their questions and those are the topics you need to focus on to succeed. Don’t waste your time with other things and don’t get detoured studying materials from medical school. Focus your time and energy on only the specific areas that the board exam is going to test. Your experience and context from medical school will provide everything else you need.

Upgrade Your Board Prep

Before you start studying for your second attempt at the boards, invest in the top prep materials. Practice makes perfect, and running through as many high-yield Pediatrics test questions as possible will give you an upper hand on exam day.

BoardVitals online question banks contain countless tools to help you pass your exam on your next try. From timed practice quizzes to detailed score reports, BoardVitals makes it easy for you to address problem areas and prepare better. All questions contain explanations for correct and incorrect answers, and the question bank is targeted to the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) General Pediatrics Certifying Exam and the General Pediatrics ITE exam. Sign up for a free trial today to get started.

It is normal to feel defeated after you failed the Pediatrics boards. However, with the right mindset, study habits, and tools, you will be ready for your next attempt at the exam.

Deborah Chiaravalloti is an award-winning writer and former hospital executive. Her insider experience helps healthcare clients launch medical procedures, products including artificial intelligence software and knowledge sharing platforms. Deborah writes websites, blogs, opinion pieces, and marketing strategy for elder care, health care consumerism, revenue cycle management (RCM), and the business of healthcare. Her printed pieces have been published and her radio shows syndicated nationally.

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