exam tips


Basic Gastroenterology Certification Requirements

gastroenterology certification requirements

In March of 2016 the gastroenterology certification requirements changed. There are new requirements that you must meet to successfully complete your certification. This article will provide you with what you as a physician need to know in order to successfully complete the gastroenterology certification process. 

The subspecialty of gastroenterology requires that you have already obtained your internal medicine certification through the ABIM and hold a valid license to practice. According to the ABIM, “To become certified in a subspecialty, a physician must satisfactorily complete the requisite graduate medical education fellowship training, demonstrate clinical competence, and procedural skills.” The internal medicine training must have been completing in an accredited U.S. or Canadian program. Any training prior to completing your internal medicine training will not count toward the subspecialty training. The training must be completed by the end of October of the year of the examination. 36 months of training with 18 months of clinical training is required prior to the exam. Specific procedures must have been learned during your training and these include diagnostic and therapeutic upper and lower endoscopy. This is a specific feature of the gastroenterology certification requirements. If you are also seeking to be certified in transplant hepatology it is necessary to be previously certified by ABIM in gastroenterology. This certification will not be further explored here.
For any certification it is required that you have documentation of clinical competence in patient care and procedural skills, medical knowledge, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism and systems-based practice. Your training program director will determine your competence across these areas as they have been dictated by ACGME/ABMS expectations.

Once all of these requirements have been satisfied you are then prepared to sit for the gastroenterology certification examination. An application and fee must be submitted and then the exam itself be scheduled at a Pearson VUE testing center.

This exam will test your ability to use clinical judgement, diagnostic reasoning and evaluate your knowledge across different areas as a certified gastroenterologist. This exam requires knowledge of common and rare problems a gastroenterologist would be expected to consult on. The exam content includes several different medical areas each with a different percentage of expected content in the exam. These include:

    •    Esophagus
    •    Stomach and Duodenum
    •    Liver
    •    Biliary tract
    •    Pancreas
    •    Small Intestine
    •    Colon

In addition to these content areas, other topics that are covered can include endoscopy, genetic conditions, medical management and risks, nutritional support and quality benchmarking.

The exam itself is up to 240 multiple-choice questions with a single best answer focusing on patient scenarios. These questions are set up with a brief statement, case history, graph or picture and a list of possible options. You must decipher the most correct answer of those provided. The exam can take up to 10 hours to complete with several breaks. The current examination process is 4 sessions of 60 questions each for which you have 2 hours to complete. You are provided with a total of 100 minutes break to be divided between 3 break sessions.

The results of your exam will be transmitted to you electronically in a pass fail format. You can expect to learn of these results within 3 months of the date of the last scheduled exam in your speciality area. So long as you train, practice, and meet the gastroenterology certification requirements you are prepared for this process. According to the ABIM in 2015 94% of those who took the exam passed the first time.

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Ace Your Exam! Physician Assistant Certification Requirements

Physician Assistant Certification Requirements

After spending countless hours in the classroom, medical facility or hospital, you are finally prepared to obtain your national certification as a Physician Assistant. All the hard work and time away from loved ones has finally paid off. You are nearly ready to join your PA peers!

Physician Assistant certification requires a new graduate to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE). This 300 question, multiple choice exam is taken in five blocks of 60 questions, taken 60 minutes at a time. These questions will test you on basic and surgical knowledge across various medical areas including the organ system and clinical tasks. 

There are several requirements to the exam in order to qualify to participate in this certification process. There are time and educational requirements and of course necessary paperwork to complete this process. The preliminary step is to ensure that you have completed a qualifying educational program. So long as you have graduated from a program accredited by ARC-PA prior to July 1994, you are allowed to sit for this exam. Regardless of where you may have earned your medical degree, the program must be accredited by ARC-PA. If it was prior to the 1994 time period there is different eligibility criteria for your educational program based on historical accreditation programs. Additionally, if you are taking this exam no more than six years after completing your medical program, then you are eligible to participate. 

Registration requires further steps and there are time constraints to be mindful of. An application for the Physician Assistant certification exam along with a $475 fee must be sent in advance. The fee along with your application must be sent no more than 180 days after your graduation and the submission of all the requested paperwork. This time frame will be provided to you in writing after submission of the materials in an e-mail of acknowledgement of receipt of your application. Another items to be mindful of is that you are only able to take the test once every 90 days and not less than than 7 days after completion of your school program. The exam is scheduled at a location of your choice and there are sites all over the United States with Pearson VUE testing centers

Things to consider in order to ace your exam:

  • Use the available resources for study materials, it is integral that you utilize these to study, review and prepare over time. 
  • Take practice exams that require you to test oneself using the same method as the examiners will require. 
  • You have breaks allotted to you during the exam after each block of 60 questions. Use these to eat, drink and refresh. Be careful though, the breaks last only 45 minutes. 
  • Get to the site early, better to be prepared! Plus if you arrive late you are not permitted to take your exam at all. 

Have hope, according to the NCCPA, in 2015 96% were successful in passing the physician assistant certification exam the first try!

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Top PANRE Exam Tips for Physician Assistants

PANRE Exam Tips

Physician Assistants, you should plan for the day of the PANRE exam as if you are going on a vacation. These PANRE exam tips will help you prepare for your testing day like a pro.

* Have a backup plan if a babysitter is needed. 
* Check your mode of transportation to make sure you will arrive at the destination on time. 
* Pack your lunch, snacks, and daily medications the night before the exam. 
* Review the practice test you purchased and passed the day before the exam.

Here are a few PANRE exam tips that can save you time and money.

Arriving Early For The Exam
* The recommendation is to arrive 30 minutes before the scheduled exam at the test center.
* Showing up late is not an option. You don’t want to pay out more money and re-apply because you were late.

You Must Prove Who You Are
There is a mandatory list of procedures that you have to follow in order to take the exam. For instance, you must list your name exactly as it is spelled on your personal identification on the test too.
* You must have a clear picture ID that looks like you. 
* Your name must be signed and printed on another ID.

Please keep in mind that you must undergo certain registration procedures such as:
* Your fingerprints will be scanned and documented.
* You must have your picture taken. 

Personal Lockers Are Mandatory
According to the NCCPA, “No personal belongings (i.e., brimmed hats, bookbags, handbags, books, notes, study materials, calculators, watches of any kind, electronic paging devices, recording or filming devices, radios, cellular phones, outerwear, or food and beverages) are allowed in the testing room, but you’ll be assigned a locker to store them in. Upon reasonable suspicion, personal belongings and their contents may be subject to inspection. Any materials that are, or reasonably appear to be, a reproduction of any NCCPA examination materials will be confiscated.”
The PANRE Test
You will be given a chance to take the practice test for 15 minutes before the initial exam begins.
* You will become familiar with how to sign in, select and change your answers on their computers. 
* The exam is four hours in length.
* There are four parts to the exam with a total of 240 questions that are multiple choice.
* You are given sixty minutes to read and answer the sixty questions.
* The test will automatically shut down in sixty minutes. 

The Test Penalties
The following PANRE exam tips will help you to avoid costly mistakes.
* Take note of the time on your test monitor as well as when your 15-minute breaks begin and end. (Extra minutes will be deducted from your next session.)
* You’re not allowed to sign back in, so if you have extra time make sure to check the answers that gave you a bit of trouble or were left blank.

If you follow these PANRE exam tips, you should be fully prepared to pass with flying colors!

Physician Assistants, Did you just pass your PANRE exam? Consider the options Elliot Health System could offer you.

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