Below is a transcript of the video – it has been edited for clarity.
Today I am going to discuss diagnostically focused questions in board exams. You want to recognize the core diagnostic features. There can be a challenge with these diagnostically focused questions as the DSM-5 has a lot of disorders and each disorder has quite a few criteria.
These challenges can make it hard to learn all of the criteria for all these disorders, especially for the… READ MORE
One way I’ve found categorizing board exam questions helpful is to view them in a hierarchy of three levels, each one building on the previous one and requiring a more use of one’s clinical judgment. My three levels are:
Know It → Recognize It → Decide It
Now let me explain and I promise this will be practically helpful and, I believe, comforting even.
This lowest level of question relies almost exclusively on recalling some specific piece of… READ MORE
Here’s an important board exam fact: you can study, study, and still further study the DSM-5 and still incorrectly answer diagnostically-focused psychiatry board exam questions. How can this be? If you have ever felt that your exam performance is not as good as your knowledge base suggests it should be, the following insight will partly explain this discrepancy.
The discrepancy between knowledge and performance arises from a discrepancy between what you spend your time studying (and memorizing) and what the… READ MORE
Have you ever had the experience of performing worse on a multiple choice exam than you knew your knowledge base allowed? If so, this post is for you. To explain where the disconnect between how much you know and how you scored on an exam may occur, I explain the relationship between four concepts: data, information, knowledge, and exam performance. I provide examples, and then invite you to consider where your “disconnect” in this chain of data processing occurs. Let’s… READ MORE
Extended vignette questions now comprise half of the Psychiatry Certification Exam and one quarter of the Psychiatry MOC Exam. This vignette type of multiple choice question is easy in that the topics are not designed to trick you or to cover obscure points. And at the same time they are very hard because they require you to make render a judgment among options that are shades of gray. Listen to Dr. Jack present a detailed and uplifting presentation on how… READ MORE
Medical board exams include a high percentage of treatment-focused questions, since appropriate treatment is what patients seek from physicians. Specialty board exams test three aspects of treatment:
Details of specific treatment interventions
Treatments in specific patient populations and by disease variants
This post focuses on choosing the right treatment for a patient based on that patient’s specific population or disease variant. Board exam question writers test your ability to know which treatment interventions apply to particular forms of… READ MORE
The medical boards pride themselves on presenting multiple-choice questions that are clinically-relevant and fair. In other words, the boards are not trying to trick you. This means that most clinical vignettes will describe patients with a common form of a disease or disorder. After all, these are the cases most of us physicians spend our days assessing and treating. However, as clinicians we do need to recognize the rare condition. So the question is, how do you distinguish whether the… READ MORE
It’s not a secret that board exams test your knowledge of the details of the myriad treatment interventions used in treating patients. In addition to knowing the circumstances of when to choose a particular intervention over another (discussed in other posts), you are expected to know the details of each specific treatment intervention. Thus, the question that arises for the exam taker is “just how much detail about treatment interventions do I need to know?”
Each field of medicine has… READ MORE
Medical board exams primarily test clinical knowledge. As such, questions that assess your knowledge of treatment interventions are common. There are three aspects of treatment that can be tested:
Details of specific treatment interventions
Treatments in specific populations and by disease variants
Treatment algorithms are the focus of this post. Treatment algorithms are a rank ordering of treatment interventions beginning with first-line treatments proceeding to second-, third-, and fourth-line treatments, and ending at last-line treatments at whatever level… READ MORE