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12/01/2017    Name Withheld

ABFAS Board Exam Pass Rate is Disparaging Joseph Borreggine, DPM

I graduated from a 3-year residency program in
2013. I passed all my NBPME exams first time, I
passed the ABFAS qualifying exams first time.
Then I bought a non-surgical practice in a small
town and set to work. I have spent 4 years
building up my case volume and then was able to
sit for the exam. I failed both the case studies
and the computer-based examination. My hospital
says I have to be board certified in a 5 year
window. I've got one more shot at it in 2018.

During residency, ABFAS lets you take yearly
practice tests to be prepared for the qualifying
exam, but not after residency. So, I went 4 years
not taking a practice test and then finally being
able to sit for it and failing it (They used to
make you wait until your case volume was built up
prior to taking the computer based exam). Just
this year, I heard that ABFAS is allowing
candidates to take the computer-based certifying
part of the exam the year after passing the
qualifying exam. This will help future graduating
residents whereas the test type and content will
be fresh on their minds. I'm pleased with this
change. However, it is discouraging to be one who
passed all NBPME exams first time, got a
residency slot first time, passed my qualifying
exams the first time and now I'm 4 years into my
career with a young family to provide for and I
have failed.

I hope that ABFAS will take appropriate steps to
approach the passing rates of the orthopedic
doctors. However, over the past 3 years the
passing rates have hovered around 70%. Again,
keep in mind, that only 70% of people who have
completed a residency program and passed their
qualifying exams are passing the certifying exam.
This is a problem I hope can be resolved. I will
study new source materials and hope for a better
outcome next year. The case studies and the
inability to discuss why a certain procedure type
was performed or how a complication was handled
is an entirely different can of worms to be
opened.

Name Withheld

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