Preparation For The ABA Advanced Board Exam

As a follow-up post to preparing for the ABA Basic Exam which I took between my CA-1 and CA-2 years, I’ll be taking the Advanced Exam a month or so after finishing residency (~ July 2017).

I’ve spent the overwhelming majority of my “study time” reading journal articles and other fascinating things in the pipeline for perioperative care, critical care, and cardiothoracic medicine. Unfortunately, standardized exams are still centered around minutia which is easily forgotten.

I plan to use Freeman’s Anesthesiology Core Review – Part Two: ADVANCED Exam as the cornerstone of my reviewing efforts to prepare for the last part of my written boards. This way, the commonly tested concepts will stay fresh as I try to expand my knowledge of the latest developments and evidence-based outcomes in anesthesiology by reading journal articles. 🙂

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  1. Hows the book? I’m a CA-3 at VCU in Richmond, VA.

    I’ve thought about purchasing this book. I’ve yet to find an anesthesia review text that I really like. I found Faust too verbose, long-winded, and with poor explanations. I sorta liked anesthesia pearls but it seems just like a bunch of random anesthesia facts pieced together. What are your thoughts? Worth buying? What about your co-residents, has anybody else tried it?

    Best of luck on the test!

    • So far, so good! I echo your sentiments about Faust, but haven’t used anesthesia pearls before. I enjoy this book because it’s structure follows the official ABA content outline. I still have over a year before I take the exam, so I’m using it as a textbook and supplementing it with notes from question banks, Barash, Miller, etc.

      Congrats on almost finishing residency man! 🙂

  2. Good to finally understand these abbreviations and how your medical schooling system works… As usual, thanks for the insight and a pleasure chitchatting with you

    • Hey Adnane! The ABA is the certifying body for anesthesiologists in the United States, so they’re also responsible for the board exams we take.

      “CA” denotes our level of training in “clinical anesthesiology.” For example, a CA-2 is the equivalent of a “second year anesthesiology resident”, but since we all do an intern year between graduating from medical school and beginning anesthesiology residency, our “post-graduate year” number is actually PGY-3. It confuses a lot of specialities, so I traditionally stick with the more common “PGY” notation. 🙂


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