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When preparing for an important, and expensive exam like the psychiatry boards many things are important to keep in mind. First, this exam is difficult, you need to prepare for the psychiatry boards as you did for your USMLE exams. This means spending time every day reading or doing assessment questions like the psychiatry question bank here. Our explanations provide short reviews of a multitude of topics that you may encounter on the exam such as child and adolescent psychiatry, neurology, ethics, psychopharmacology, psychiatry vignettes, and psychiatry video vignettes.
While reviewing it is helpful to keep a list of areas you feel you need the most review in. Those should be the topics that you return to and review at least twice a week for several weeks before the exam. There are bound to be topics on the psychiatry exam that you were not expecting, so it is good to ensure that you review questions in a multitude of topics so that you have at least touched on most topics that could appear on your test.
Most of our physician users who have successfully passed state that they studied for between 3-8 months before the ABPN psychiatry board exam date. Those who studied for 6 months or more had the highest success rates, and those who studied less than 2 months had the lowest. Also, those who used the psychiatry question bank no less than every other day, even for short periods, are most likely to pass the psychiatry boards.
Topics that psychiatrists found most difficult on the boards included questions on defense mechanisms, psychotherapy and historically significant psychotherapists, managing antidepressant overdoses, treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders, pervasive developmental disorders, treatment of various substance abuse disorders, somatoform disorders, factitious disorders, and personality disorders. Ethics also was thought to be difficult and sometimes “tricky”, ethical situations surrounding patient relationships and medication dispensation or refills without seeing the patient in person are commonly tested.
So, take your time, review many psychiatry exam questions, practice on video and written vignettes, and you are likely to pass easily!
The IPMA is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The Interstate Postgraduate Medical Association designates this Internet Enduring Material for a maximum of 40 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Further Psychiatry CME info found here.