I found out today that I passed my Pediatric Emergency Medicine Boards. I’m happy, relieved… and exhausted. And apparently, I’m in good company. A quick scan of social media shows a litany of celebratory posts, laden with confetti-emoji and gratitudes such as “Huge thanks to my wonderful husband” to “THANKYOUJESUS.” Let me pause for a moment and add my own – Thank you to my amazing wife, Kim! I truly couldn’t do this without you.
It’s honestly hard to imagine that anyone could do it alone. Finding the time to prepare for boards on top of patient care and family obligations is tremendously difficult. All you can do is do your best, but it never feels like enough. The result is that many (I would wager, most) of us head into boards bleary-eyed and anxious. Everything depends on passing… but am I ready? Did I study smart? Did I retain enough information?
Again and again during my recent board prep, I reflected on something that I know would radically change my readiness for boards: Having video cases of real patients, with real diagnoses, to review. Show me patients with the conditions I must be prepared to identify and treat. Show me how they described their signs and symptoms, and the provider’s reasoning while forming the DDx. Show me the labs and tests their doctors ordered, the medications prescribed, procedures performed, and how the patient did.
I know without a doubt, from my own experience as both a medical student and teacher, that incorporating video into curriculum profoundly deepens the learning. Video catapults course material from static to visceral, and radically increases understanding and retention. If I had been able to use video to prepare for my boards, I imagine the test would have changed from a required assessment to a significant learning opportunity.
What do you think? Would your board experience be different if you were able to prepare and use video materials as part of the testing process?