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    Taking the boards: Not a bad rite of passage after all

    Henry Rosevear, MDDr. RosevearAs far as rites of passage go, taking the urology boards turned out to be relatively benign. There were no hot coals involved. Everyone smiled. And in the end I did come out a little better for the experience. In studying for the test, I even learned something I didn’t know: A post-vasectomy sperm sample does not have to be centrifuged when examined (according to the 2012 AUA guidelines on vasectomy, statement #12). Overall, it wasn’t a bad weekend.

    First—and let’s be honest, this was not exactly how I would choose to spend a weekend—when I compare it to my previous experiences with oral interviews, it was professional, informative, and almost fun. The weekend started with an introduction by a very pleasant staff member of the American Board of Urology who informed us that if we ever mentioned any detail of the exam to another living soul, our confessional priest included, that Dr. Ritchey himself (the ABU’s immediate past president) would hunt us down and ensure that we’d spend the rest of our lives practicing urology in Antarctica. At least, that was what I took away from the introductory lecture. That, and on the day of the exam, to follow the yellow footprints on the floor.

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    Seriously, though, every person involved in the process—from the staff of the ABU to the proctors—stressed that they were not trying to trick us but were simply giving us a structured opportunity to show our mastery of the field. In retrospect, they did a great job of that. Once the protocols began, I found myself simply having a conversation regarding treatment options and their complications related to mostly everyday urology. For me, that last part was the most surprising aspect of the boards.

    Continue to the next page for more.

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    Henry Rosevear, MD
    Dr. Rosevear, a member of the Urology Times Clinical Practice Board, is in private practice at Pikes Peak Urology, Colorado Springs, CO.

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    • Anonymous
      Are you kidding or is the ABU paying you to say this?! Getting fingerprinted, video-taped, virtually strip searched at these testing centers and then paying for this abuse is insanity. Wait till you start MOC- it gets worse! The ABU is laughing all the way to the bank.
    • Anonymous
      With all due respect,may I suggest finding more interesting activities to experience on a week end. Spining the board experience as not that bad after the fact is just too much!
    • Anonymous
      With all due respect,may I suggest finding more interesting activities to experience on a week end. Spining the board experience as not that bad after the fact is just too much!
    • Anonymous
      With all due respect,may I suggest finding more interesting activities to experience on a week end. Spining the board experience as not that bad after the fact is just too much!
    • Anonymous
      With all due respect,may I suggest finding more interesting activities to experience on a week end. Spining the board experience as not that bad after the fact is just too much!
    • Anonymous
      Well done. My recollection, 28 years removed, is my experience with my first examiner. I sat down at the desk, opposite of a Urologist who I was sure was there to make my time with him a living hell. He presented me with the first "case". It was a picture of the back of a young male patient. The was some sort of skin discoloration in the mid line of his back (not related to any spinal disease). I was honest, I told him I had no clue ! He said, "me neither" ! He threw it aside and picked another case. All's well 29 years later.

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