AACC’s New Online Tool Could Revolutionize How Students Prepare for Clinical Board Examinations

30 Jul 2013
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AACC has given delegates an exclusive sneak preview of its new Question Bank at the 2013 AACC Annual Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo in Houston. Created to help laboratory medicine trainees prepare for board examinations in the U.S. and U.K., the Question Bank is the most extensive compilation of board study questions ever collected.

Until now, no program has provided board examination study materials for all laboratory medicine disciplines in one place. According to Nader Rifai, PhD, editor-in-chief of AACC’s Clinical Chemistry journal and director of clinical chemistry at Boston Children’s Hospital, the review materials available to trainees are also often incorrectly formatted and contain outdated information.

The new Question Bank is peer reviewed and current. When it launches in September, it will contain more than 1,000 questions pooled from experts in the field, numerous scientific associations, and private databases that thoroughly cover all categories of laboratory medicine. These include transfusion medicine, chemistry, coagulation, toxicology, hematology, immunology, hematopathology, microbiology, blood bank, bacteriology, mycology, and parasitology. As the program continues to develop, hundreds of new questions will be added every quarter. Contributing organizations include AACC, the College of American Pathologists, the American Society for Clinical Pathology, and the Association for Clinical Biochemistry, among others.

Available online for use with a computer or mobile device, the Question Bank is divided into 10-question courses on multiple topics, each with three stages of difficulty. This makes it useful for trainees of all levels. A score is calculated at the end of each course, and if a trainee receives an 80% or better, the participant gets a certificate that can also be sent to their mentor. This gives participants and their mentors a much-needed quantitative way to track and evaluate their progress.

“I’m very excited about the Question Bank’s ability to address the unmet needs of trainees,” said Dr. Rifai. “It is the only program that allows trainees to tailor their study program to meet their own personal needs. It will have a significant positive impact on trainees getting ready for the
boards, and for anyone else in the field of laboratory medicine wishing to assess or increase their knowledge.”

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Sonia Nicholas
Clinical Diagnostics Editor