How ASH Can Help You Prepare for Boards
I know what you’re thinking. “Boards?! I don’t have to think about that until I finish my fellowship! And I don’t want to!” Well, you’re not alone, but it doesn’t hurt to know that you have access to excellent resources through ASH that can help you prepare for boards as well as support you throughout fellowship. Remember that the best way to prepare for board exams and more importantly for life as a practicing hematologist, is to do small amounts of studying each week, about two hours or so, rather than trying to cram three weeks before the exam. With that in mind, consider using the following resources to help you in your noble, never-ending quest for knowledge:
- ASH Self-Assessment Program (ASH-SAP): All fellows who are part of ASH’s FHF program have online access to the ASH-SAP, 6th edition and its six tests. If you are a bit old school and want a physical copy, those are available as well. Organized into 23 chapters, with a companion question book that supplies about 10 to 12 questions per chapter, the print volume is an excellent resource for fellows at any stage of their training to learn new facts and solidify previously learned knowledge. If you prefer to study with questions, go straight to the online tests or the question book and make your way through that—each question has a comprehensive, well-written explanation.
- ASH Case Studies for Fellows: The archive includes approximately 40 case studies, which are completely free and feature a board-style multiple choice question, explanation, and references.
- ASH Image Bank: Need to brush up on blood smear interpretation? Thousands of high-quality educational blood smear images, many with interpretation and explanation text, are available on the ASH Image Bank.
- ASH Image Bank Flashcards: ASH has created a set of 40 blood smear and bone marrow aspirate image flash cards, which are distributed to all fellows at the beginning of the year. Each set is heavily scrutinized by a team of expert hematologists (with trainee input) to ensure the highest-yield images and information are included.
- Hematology In-Service Exam (ISE): ASH offers the ISE ever year in late March. You can register through your fellowship program; results are shared with program directors who in turn will provide feedback to fellows. While no one likes taking six-hour long exams, the questions in the ISE are the closest thing to the boards, and your score report has helpful breakdowns to allow you to brush up on those areas that may not be your strongest.
There’s so much more; make sure to look through the ASH website for these as well as other helpful tools!