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Tips For Success When Facing Cardiology Boards

by Maico Paling

The months and weeks leading up to your cardiology boards can be intimidating and overwhelming. The board exams are among some of the most significant exams you'll take in your life, and the results can make or break your potential career. With the right preparation and understanding, you can approach the exam with confidence and start your new career path on the right foot. Here's a look at some things to keep in mind as you're studying for your board exams.

Ditch The Textbooks

That's right—when you're studying for your cardiovascular boards, the best thing you can do is put the textbooks away. Instead, work from study guides designed specifically for the cardiovascular board exams. These guides will give you the most clearly focused, relevant information, making it easier for you to spend time studying the information and testing formats that will help you get through the exam.

Remember The KISS Method

Okay, so in this case, KISS stands for something a little bit different. Instead of keeping it simple, you want to keep it short—your study sessions, that is. Study frequently but for short periods. This allows your brain to absorb information more easily because the shorter, more active study time boosts neural connectivity. A twenty minute study session on the train to work is more effective than several hours of listening to heart rhythms at night. After a while, the sounds will all start to mesh together in your mind, making it harder to differentiate between them.

Start your study routine with subjects that you're reasonably familiar with. This will reinforce the information you've already mastered before requiring you to work harder to remember new details. Once you've reviewed the information you know, it's time to move to new subjects and topics. Pick one per study session so that you don't overwhelm yourself. For example, focus on murmurs one day and prolapse symptoms the next.

Don't Be Predictable

When you work through study material, don't focus solely on the multiple choice format of questions. While these are popular as part of the boards, you're going to have a lot of different question formats to address. Look for study guides that offer case studies for review. That way, you have to read the patient history, assess the cardiac rhythms and other symptoms, and determine both what's relevant and what the potential diagnosis might be.

In addition, keep in mind that the cardiology boards include a series of questions that require you to listen to sounds and interpret them correctly. Make sure you focus attention on interpreting and recognizing both normal and abnormal heart sounds.

Don't Underestimate The Physical Exams

One of the keys to passing cardiology boards is being able to recognize cardiovascular diseases. During your study sessions, make sure you address the physical exam indicators of each of the primary cardiovascular diseases. The more you know and the easier you can identify specific cardiovascular diseases, the less risk you have of stumbling over the exam.

Remember that the boards are designed not only to test book knowledge but also your application of that knowledge in diagnosing and treating both the common and lesser-known conditions. Spend time focusing heavily on how to apply that knowledge effectively so that you are fluent and confident when you're taking the boards. For example, work with a study group and take time practicing evaluations and examinations to help each of you become more confident in your own skills and the analytical process.

Approaching the boards with confidence can help you to succeed. With the right study plan and the tips presented here, you can face your cardiology boards knowing that you've done everything you can to be ready. Talk with a company like Physeo today about any cardiology review classes that may be available for additional support.

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