Above image: Night before the board exam
The 7 Year Itch
In Part 1 of our blog for those taking the pediatric board exam for the 2nd or nth, we left off by noting the importance of a fresh start and a new approach. We have heard from many readers in other specialties since publishing Part 1, noting that we seem to be focusing on the pediatric board exam. We want to point out that the same exact principles apply to the Neurology Board Exam as well as other medical specialty exams.
This becomes particularly important now that you must take the exam within 7 years of completing residency. That means you get 7 tries before being sent to the penalty box. The penalty box is having to complete another year of Internship. Not to offend anyone who has had to do this, but this cannot be pleasant.
Know What you Know
When we are stressed the first thing we do is reach for comfort food, but the comfort is of course only temporary and empty of any nutritional value. Many of us after failing the boards feel empty and need validation and we reach for the equivalent of comfort food. That is we study the areas that we know well, to make ourselves feel good. While this might help in the very short run, it should be done only to help you get back in the saddle
Part of doing something new must consist of studying and working on the areas you are weakest and sections you have done poorly on. The challenging part is working on areas that you are not only weak in but areas you find mind numbingly boring. For me, remembering and studying developmental milestones was particularly challenging. You must identify those areas for yourself. Start your road back to passing the pediatric boards (or any boards), with the material you are weak in and find most boring while your energy level is up and you are eager to get it right this time.
You might consider differentiating the material you know well from those you do not know well with a color-coded spreadsheet. For example material you know well can be highlighted in green, the material you know fairly well, but needs additional work can be yellow, and the material you find most boring and need to work on a lot can be highlighted in red. As you learn the material and become more comfortable with it, you move it to the yellow column and finally the green column. Once you have honestly moved all of the material to the green side, you can see visually that you are on your way to passing the pediatric board exam. As an aside, you may pick your own colors from the rainbow for your spreadsheet.
Know Your Own Way
An often-overlooked step is recognizing how you study best. Different approaches work for different people and you must determine what will work for you. You can begin by determining if you are primarily an auditory or visual learner. As a general rule, most of us are better visual learners. If you are primarily a visual learner, and find that you get very little out of live lectures, why would you now consider attending a live board review course? Your focus should remain visual learning through books, but focusing on different books than before.
If you are primarily an auditory learner, you don’t necessarily have to attend a live board review course. Another alternative might be dictating and playing back the file in your car, while you are working out at the gym, or even during sex if that works for you 
If have any artistic talent, drawing a picture to help remember the characteristics of a disorder might help, for example drawing a child on a motorcycle might help you remember the characteristics associated with Kawasaki Disease.
In the final section of this blog we will go through some of the pros and cons of courses and putting together a study plan and outline to better streamline your next attempt to pass the exam.
Above image: When you block out time to study, it's important to actually study
 Feel free to contact us if you had. We would like to know what this process was like/ Clearly you are not the only one your experience can be helpful to others.
 and the person you are having sex with assuming there is an actual partner involved