ABA Cardiac Anesthesia Board Exam Preparation

Until this year, adult cardiothoracic anesthesia fellowship training involved getting board-certified by the National Board of Echocardiography (NBE) in advanced perioperative transesophageal echocardiography (TEE). This differed from my board certifications for my anesthesiology residency training and critical care medicine fellowship training, both through the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA).

This year, the ABA is administering its first official Adult Cardiac Anesthesiology examination, which I’ll take on December 2, 2023! Because it’s the first year this exam is being offered, I figure why not just blow the $1,800 fee (😓) and finish it. To make matters worse, this also doesn’t replace the NBE exam.

As a new exam, there aren’t many tailored resources available. The guide that is often mentioned is honestly garbage. Even though I used it, it’s riddled with a focus on minutia, errors, and poor formatting as a question book. Yes, it’s a question book… not even an actual review book. I wish they just created a review book that followed the published ABA content outline for the exam. 🤷🏽‍♂️ This is how Freeman’s Anesthesiology Core Review (for the basic and advanced residency exams) was formatted, and it made me feel prepared for those exams!

Although the ABA hasn’t published a formal “blueprint” for the exam at the time of this writing, it’s safe to assume that it’s like many of the other subspecialty exams – 200 A-type (single-best-answer) multiple choice questions with four hours to complete the exam.

T-minus 3 weeks till the exam. Let’s see how this goes!

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