How to Pass Your OB/GYN Boards 2021—and What I Wish I’d Done for CREOGs

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October 12, 2021
Deciding to pursue a career in medicine can be challenging—it’s full of so many emotions, ups and downs, long nights, lots of coffee, victories, and failures. But the entire journey becomes worth it when you see that one word: PASSED. 
Using the right resources (like Rosh Review’s OB/GYN board questions) helped me get to where I am as an OB/GYN today. Here are some tips you can use throughout residency to pass your boards on your first try.

This month, I’m celebrating one year since passing my OB/GYN written boards. Let me tell you, that will forever be one of the best moments of my life. Leading up to opening the email with my results, I was nervous, excited, anxious, and scared, with my heart racing… but once I saw the word “passed,” all I could do was break down and cry.

Luckily, my husband recorded the whole thing—see for yourself!

After 12 years of hard work, I finally reached my goal: I PASSED MY OB/GYN WRITTEN BOARDS! 

If I’m being completely honest, I’ve never been a good test-taker. I used to get so nervous before medical school exams, NBMEs, Step 1, and even CREOGs. But along the way, I realized why I used to get so nervous: I didnt have enough practice taking actual questions.

That’s when I learned that I needed to change my study style before my boards. Instead of just reading the information, I needed to start taking mock exams and doing actual OB/GYN board questions. Having a good foundation of practice bulletins, committee opinions, research studies, and textbooks is important, but you also have to put that information to work by testing yourself to make sure you’re retaining the information you just spent hours reading. 

That’s why I found Rosh Review extremely beneficial when preparing for my written OB/GYN board exam—I was able to create practice tests that would not only help me understand the information but also make me a better test-taker. 

What I Wish I Had During CREOGs

I first discovered Rosh Review during my last year of residency and wish I’d found it earlier because I truly believe it’s what helped me pass my written boards. 

In addition to their Qbank filled with OB/GYN board questions, Rosh Review also has practice questions for the yearly CREOG exam. I remember being a lost intern, not knowing how or what to study for CREOGs, spending my time reading practice bulletins and textbooks over and over again. It would have been extremely helpful if I had practice questions to go along with them! I truly believe that most people learn best by applying their knowledge through practice questions—you have to test yourself to see if you truly understand the material.

The explanation for each Rosh Review question stem is full of great information, with links to practice bulletins, committee opinions, and even research studies—after all, medicine is about lifelong learning. I found this part of my Qbank most beneficial while I was at work at the hospital. While waiting between surgeries, I’d pull out my phone and do a quick set of questions right on the mobile app! 

I also found that Rosh Review was a great way to teach my lower-level residents. Whenever we had some downtime, I’d open up the Rosh Review app and start going through questions with them. In the mobile app, I created specific questions about certain topics we had just encountered in the hospital. For example, after diagnosing preeclampsia or obstetrical complications, I’d make a specific set of questions in the app covering those topics. These study sessions led us to have great discussions about real scenarios we were currently treating.

How to Study for Your OB/GYN Boards 2021
  1. Make a study schedule. A realistic study schedule. You can’t expect to study for 12–13 hours every single day—you need breaks and days off. Remember, rest days are just as important as study days!
  2. Start with the areas where youre the least confident first. We all have an area that we can identify as our weakness (it’s gyn onc for me—tumor markers and chemo? Ugh!), so conquer these questions first! 
  3. Do as many practice questions as possible. Taking written boards is about what you know, but becoming a better test-taker will always help you on the actual exam. Not all OB/GYN board questions are written the same, and taking practice questions makes you feel comfortable with the formatting and composition of these questions. Sometimes, the content can be overwhelming with long paragraphs jam-packed with information (then followed by a graph you need to interpret—ugh!). By doing Rosh Review questions, you quickly learn that a lot of that information in the question stem is fluff and not necessary in order to answer the question correctly. Practice questions teach you how to be a better test-taker by allowing you to focus on the relevant parts of the question presented. That way, you’re able to answer questions faster without wasting time on your real OB/GYN boards! 

I know what it’s like studying for boards: It seems like it’s never-ending. But trust me, it’ll all be worth it in the end! Remember this is simply a season of your life that won’t last forever. It’s funny when I look back at how far I’ve come and still can’t believe it’s been 11 years since I started medical school.

Time truly goes by so fast—all those long nights and hard work were well worth it! 


About the Guest Author

Dr. Ali Rodriguez is a board-certified OB/GYN who has built a wide audience on TikTok (1.4M+ followers) and Instagram (65.8K+ followers), covering women’s health and other OB/GYN educational content. You can find her as @alirodmd or on her blog, thelatinadoc.com


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