Getting ready for the Pediatric boards may have you feeling slightly anxious. If so, calm down! The first step to finding your way is to focus. Don't be tempted to surround yourself with all your text and review books. Put away all the pages and pages of notes. Soaking yourself in that much information is the fastest way to overwhelm yourself to the point of non-action. There is a much more efficient way to study for the boards.
Knowing how to center your studies will be key. Unlike the traditional standard medical exams you're used to, the board exams test on overall knowledge of a topic. You are used to being tested on your ability to regurgitate facts, figures and numbers; however, this approach will not work on this type of exam. Luckily, the American Academy of Pediatrics has a particular set of topics they like to emphasize for their questions and those are the topics you need to focus on to succeed.
There is a specific method to take when studying and taking board exams, and that is to concentrate on getting to the right diagnosis. To do that, you must master two elements: pattern recognition and knowing associations. Taking a set of symptoms, physical signs, and/or laboratory values and translating them into a particular diagnosis is a skill you will want to perfect. Knowing associations has to do with recognizing medical "buzzwords." These terms will aid you in honing in on the right diagnosis.
Focus your studies on the topics on the General Pediatrics Exam Content Outline and remember to exercise your pattern recognition and association skills throughout.
Other topics of interest for you will include knowing all surveillance and screening methods, including all vaccines, as well as developmental milestones and normal lab values. Practicing your ability to come to a diagnosis based on a set of symptoms is incredibly important. It cannot be emphasized enough that you need to do as many questions and case studies as you possibly can to properly prepare for the boards. Aside from staying calm and motivated, remember to also be prepared and organized. With concentrated focus, you can take the bulk of the work out of studying. Good luck!