Wednesday, July 25, 2018

BCPS Recertification: Follow Up

In two previous post, I outlined my impressions of High-Yield Med Reviews based on my experience going through the modules and webinar. While I still stand behind my evaluation of HYMR, my assessment was somewhat limited because it was all before the exam. Now that I have my scores, I feel I can give a more complete assessment of HYMR. In a nutshell: I passed, and highly recommend HYMR. 

In the final days before the exam, I was actually contemplating sitting for the full 200 question exam rather than the abridged recertification. My rationale was simply that I’d rather have more questions to attempt given the VAST amount of material that encompasses the pharmacotherapy exam. While I am glad I still went with the shorter version based on my result, my exam preparation had to consider that I couldn’t possibly cover all subjects of pharmacotherapy. Rather I took a more measured, calculated approach. With that in mind, I have a few tips to get the most out of studying with HYMR.

1) Get started early (3 months before) and do a little every day. It could be as little as 20 minutes, but getting in a regular habit of studying can have that initial 20 minutes stretch to an hour or two after a few weeks. With the format of the lecture modules from Dr. Busti, it’s easy to fit in at least one lecture during my morning run. For subjects like hypertension or asthma that I knew pretty well, I played them at 1.5x or 2x speed to review and slow down or rewind for elements I needed to hear again (ie, newish drugs, guideline updates, etc.)

2) Do as many practice questions as you can. Practice questions are the easiest way to identify weak areas, and brush up on your test taking skills. Similarly to the lectures, when you only have 5-10 minutes when your 10 month old is napping, you can bang out 5 questions and review the rationale, core concept and fast facts. Closer to the exam date, I set up ‘practice’ exams by selecting 200 randomized questions.

3) Don’t ignore practice management and regulatory issues. These are always the questions test takers talk about among each other after the exam. They aren’t difficult questions and there isn’t that much material. The succinct practice management modules are certainly a high-yield study tool.

4) It’s no secret that if you know stats inside out, you have a good chance of passing the exam. Spend time studying stats, participate in the webinars conducted with Dr. Busti, and read primary literature on a regular basis. These steps will ensure you’re able to answer any question.

5) Don’t forget, the reason you’re putting in all this effort is to become a better pharmacist! So constantly think of ways to implement your new knowledge (or reinforced knowledge) in practice through either direct patient care, clinical activities, or research.

Incorporating these five simple tips into your studying efforts with HYMR will ensure that you’re a) getting the most out of your investment, b) practicing efficient studying habits, and c) becoming a better clinician.

Disclosure:

I have a continuing partnerships with HYMR. I believe in Dr. Busti, and I am actively contributing to HYMR.

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