Chicago, IL / Munavvar Izhar MD understands that passing medical board exams is a challenge for just about anybody, including Interns, Residents, Fellows, and Physician Practitioners for both certification and recertification purposes. Recently MOC exams have also been introduced by ABIM. So basically every 2-5 years you are preparing, studying and taking the exams!! It becomes frustrating and unnerving for physicians and trainees to keep doing this on an ongoing basis as it requires time away from family and work to study. Though these exams are frustrating, the knowledge that they test is particularly specific and in-depth. Thankfully, Munavvar Izhar believes that just about anybody can pass these exams if they are willing to employ some common sense strategies and follow his advice.
The Credentials of Munavvar Izhar MD
Munavvar Izhar completed his residency in Internal Medicine and Fellowship in Nephrology from the University of Mumbai and is board certified in both. He was a Lecturer and Tutor in Mumbai teaching residents, fellows and was also a board examiner with the university. After training in the USA in Internal Medicine and Nephrology, he attained Board Certifications here too and was in clinical practice and teaching for about 20 years. Now he does not practice clinical medicine and instead has focused his experience and strengths in teaching and testing by creating an online platform (https://www.abimexams.com) and products to help physicians pass their ABIM Board Certification exams within the USA and abroad. Thousands of physicians subscribe to his question banks to pass their board exams. His company’s board review products make it easier to study for these exams and stay credentialed. As a result, Munavvar Izhar MD has an opinion that is more than worth understanding.
How Dr. Munavvar Izhar, M.D Suggests You Handle Your Board Preparations:-
Munavvar Izhar MD suggests a three-stage process of studying that will help make your board review much more comfortable. Start by first:
1. Determining the Guidelines/Scope of your study/exams: There is a Syllabus or ABIM Exam Blueprint based on which the board exams are drafted. Dr. Munavvar Izhar emphasizes to study and understand that. List out the topics and the weightage they get on the Board Exams. This way one is better prepared for topics that are more frequently asked in board exams. It will not only better prepare you but also more comprehensively prepare you for your board exams.
2. Choosing Sources/Study Material: A very good and authentic source of medical knowledge these days is UpTodate (www.uptodate.com). The topics from the ABIM Exam Blueprint that are commonly asked should be reviewed from uptodate. Count the number of topics and if you take 2 days to cover one topic one knows the time required to prepare! The second important thing to do is to practice as many board type questions as you can. Reading the explanations in those answers will help you. Doing many questions will give you practice and practice makes a man perfect.
3. Strategy to study/Prepare for the Board Exams: All physicians, Residents, Fellows, and Medical students are either working or going to college. But in the medical profession or even as a student it is imperative to read every day to keep abreast with the knowledge. One has to take out time every day even if it is 15 minutes or half an hour to review or study. If one is taking Board exams a greater amount of time is needed per day. Studies and observations suggest an average study time of 250-350 hours to pass a board exam. Obviously, this may change based on the baseline knowledge, memory, etc.. of the individual.
4. Other factors helping in preparation: Form a study group. If you can not, even a single companion to discuss with helps. When studying, maintain a notebook and note down the important points that you can review in a short time just before the exams. Maintaining flashcards helps some people. Try to do as many practice questions as you can.
Next, Munavvar Izhar also suggests taking a look at where you struggled the most during your practice tests. Don’t cram, Munavvar Izhar says, but use repetition and practical skills to enhance your knowledge. Spending small and regular hours over a long period is better than short bursts of longer hours when preparing for the Board Exams emphasizes Dr. Munavvar Izhar MD.
Practical application of your skill helps to highlight them and make them easier to understand. For example, study textbook concepts more so the ones that you are struggling to retain. If possible, try to apply that learning as a physician in your practice managing patients and see how that concept sticks with you! Munavvar Izhar MD states.
Munavvar Izhar MD says that the above steps should make studying for your ABIM Board Exams pleasurable, easy and more comfortable to pass, as long as you do the hard and regular work of studying.