Today I respond to two questions regarding the what information is available on the exam screen on ABPN® board exams.
Lab Values on ABPN® board Exams
I received a question from a psychiatry board exam candidate this week about whether normal lab values are available as a drop down list accessible from the exam screen. We received a response from ABPN® as follows: “We do not provide a drop down list of normal lab values, but when the committee feels including a normal lab value is necessary, they will be provided within the item stem. For example “sodium level is 192 mEq/L (normal range: 135 to 145 mEq/L).” This is good news for exam candidates and I thank ABPN® for their quick and clear response.
Replaying Video Vignettes on the ABPN® Board Exams
Video vignettes on ABPN® board exams in psychiatry and neurology are located and viewable on the same screen as the questions associated with the vignettes and these vignettes can be viewed multiple times. This is an important positive feature, allowing reviewing what might have been missed initially.
Some of the video vignette questions focus on the visual aspects of the mental status exam, such as on tremors, other movement disturbances, odd clothing, odd postures, or physical dysmorphisms. When the videotaped patient is presenting verbal information, it is at times hard to attend to both verbal content and visual content simultaneously. Thus, viewing the video more than once is useful and you should take advantage of this possibility.
On the other hand, if you end up needing to view every video clip more than once, you are in danger of running out of time. I do not think this repeat viewing will be needed except in select cases, those in which your attention flags, or in which rich streams of verbal and visual information is provided simultaneously.