How Can You Pass the Internal Medicine Board Exam?

internal medicine boards

The Internal Medicine Board Certification Exam is the final step for doctors looking to specialize in Internal Medicine. This in-depth exam covers a range of different topics, including Hematology, Psychiatry, and Dermatology. Passing the boards is not a guarantee, but with the right plan in place, you will be confident and prepared come test day.

What is the Internal Medicine Board Exam?

Offered by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), this exam verifies physicians are knowledgeable and skilled in all aspects of Internal Medicine. Most hospitals require their Internal Medicine physicians to be initially board certified, as well as to be recertified every ten years.

What is covered on the Internal Medicine Boards?

The Internal Medicine Board Exam tests traditional internal medicine topics and also those of its subspecialties. While there is a high focus in cardiology, pulmonology, and gastroenterology, the exam covers all areas of internal medicine.

How many questions are on the Internal Medicine Board Exam?

The ABIM Internal Medicine Certification contains a maximum of 240 multiple choice questions (MCQ) in single-best-answer format mostly pertaining to clinical scenarios. It is a single day exam with several sections, lasting approximately 10 hours.

How do I study for the Internal Medicine Boards?

The Internal Medicine Board Exam is somewhat difficult. In 2023, the ABIM Pass Rate was 87% among first-time test takers. To do your best on the test, it is essential that you allow yourself adequate time to prepare.

Here are some tips and tricks that will help you on your journey to becoming board certified in Internal Medicine.

Start Studying Early.

This may sound like a simple and obvious tip, however many people don’t start studying for the boards early enough. The earlier you start studying, the higher your likelihood of performing well on the actual exam. Starting early will also familiarize you with the test format and topics covered on the exam.

Get Familiar with Patient Presentations.

Patient presentations are a major feature on the internal medicine boards (over 75% of the exam). The ABIM states that “The setting of the encounters reflect[s] current medical practice, so [roughly 75%] take place in an outpatient or emergency department setting…the remainder occur in inpatient settings, ranging from the intensive care unit to the nursing home.”

Take the ACP Internal Medicine In-Training Exam®.

This exam is offered to residents by the American College of Physicians (ACP) in collaboration with the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine (AAIMTM). This web-based exam is beneficial because it allows residents to do a self-evaluation of their knowledge of Internal Medicine content.

The 2024 IM-ITE® is available from Thursday, August 15, 2024, to Wednesday, September 4, 2024, excluding Labor Day.

Use a Question Bank.

Question banks are a proven source of help to test takers. The most helpful Internal Medicine question banks will have a format similar to the actual exam and detailed explanations of the answers and why the incorrect choices are wrong.

Take an Internal Medicine Board Review Course.

As an addition to personal study time and question banks, it can be very helpful to take a review course. Top review courses are usually focused and packed with information on topics within the scope of internal medicine.

The BoardVitals Internal Medicine question bank is a grand tool in preparing for the  boards, with more than 1,550 questions targeted to the exam content outline for both Internal Medicine Certification Exams from the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and the American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine (AOBIM). Sign up for a free trial today.

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