Monday, January 19, 2009

What a relief!

Yesterday I got some VERY good news, I passed part 2 of National boards, with flying colors! It has been about 6 weeks since I took the test and I nearly could not compose myself trying to log in to see my score. It is a huge relief to know this test is all behind me and I don't have to worry about it again. Two of the major reasons for wanting to pass is: 1) I don't have to take it again b/c it sucks and 2) it costs $625 each time to take it! And there are 4 tests total!!

Those I have talked to are very confused about all these tests, so I am going to try to explain them as best as I can.

Part 1 - I took back in the summer of 2007, end of second year. This test is also called Basic Science Exam and it consisted of 435 multiple-choice items administered across three 3.75-hour sessions that tested knowledge on just that, basic science concepts (Human Biology, Ocular/Visual Biology, Optics, and Psychology). Basically all the material we were tested on we had learned in the first 2 years of optometry school, so it was a LOT of material to remember, most of which isn't typically stuff an optometrist uses on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. I think this was the hardest one b/c of the vast amount of material to look at.

Part 2 - Clinical Science, consists of 435 multiple-choice items administered across three 3.75-hour sessions. This part focuses on the application of the knowledge of Basic Science to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of clinical conditions that relate to optometric practice (Systemic conditions, Ocular Disease/Trauma, Refractive/Oculormotor/Sensory Integrative conditions, Perceptual conditions, Public health, Legal and Ethical Issues). It also includes a scoring component on the Treatment and Management of Ocular Disease (TMOD) exam, an embedded component in the Ocular Disease/Trauma section. The resultant score is equivalent to that of the stand-alone TMOD examination. So we did not just have to pass 1 test but actually a test within a test. :)

Part 3 - Patient Care assesses the ability to examine actual patients, evaluate clinical data, and render patient care decisions. This multifaceted examination consists of two administratively distinct components and formats: the 4-station Clinical Skills Examination (CSE) and the written Patient Assessment and Management (PAM) Examination. CSE accounts for 60% of the Part III score, and PAM accounts for 40%. I am taking these in April.

In CSE, the candidate examines a different patient at each of four 30-minute stations, in the performance of 19 clinical skills. Although this examination primarily measures psychomotor skills, it contains an assessment of affective (i.e., clinical habits and attitudes) and communication skills, as well as some interpretation of clinical findings. CSE is administered in one 3.5 hour session.

The PAM examination consists of 40 simulated patient cases, each of which begins with a scenario and includes 3-4 multiple-choice items. Each multiple-choice item, which may contain as many as 10 options, focuses on assessment and management of patient data. Candidates are evaluated for their abilities in diagnosis, interpretation and correlation of clinical data, treatment, follow-up, prognosis, and patient education.

I hope this clears some things up a bit. Yes the testing is very extensive and you would think this would be sufficient enough, but I also have to take individual STATE boards after graduation b/c each state has different rules and regulations for optometry... Something the legislators are trying to make equal bw all states but has not happened yet.


Carl & Rosemarie Brauning said...

Whew! Scary yet exciting! I am sure we can all say we knew you'd pass with flying colors bcz you're so smart! :) Where are you plannin to take state boards? Are you gonna stick around KS?

Danea said...

Congrats Christie! We should try to meet up for a drink before you graduate.