Prev Med Studyguide Essay

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Aerospace Medicine
Occupational Medicine
Public Health and
General Preventive Medicine

111 West Jackson, Suite 1110
Chicago, Illinois 60604

(312) 939-ABPM [2276]
Fax (312) 939-2218
Web Site:

Revised 2014

The specialty area examinations are intended to assess whether
the candidate claiming to have the knowledge, skills, and
experience associated with comprehensive specialty practice is
qualified to do so. The Board recognizes that many applicants
are engaged in practice or have received training which is not
fully congruent with Board expectations. However, the Board
cannot adjust its definition of specialty practice to conform to
the day-to-day work experience of a varied group of
applicants. Applicants who judge their training and experience
to lack elements regarded by the Board as important will find it
helpful to prepare for comprehensive specialty practice, and
examination, by guided study. This Study Guide outlines the
scope of practice and provides a list of useful texts and
periodicals. There is no certainty that the answer to every
examination question will be found in the cited materials, as
many questions require an exercise of discernment and
judgment rather than a specific textbook answer.

Introduction to The Guide
This Guide has been prepared for physicians who seek to
develop knowledge and skills in Preventive Medicine
through appropriate reading, class work, formal training,
and experience. The Guide describes the scope and
content of the field, including the specialty areas, so that
physicians may know what is expected of them as they
engage in comprehensive specialty practice or prepare
for examination by the American Board of Preventive
Medicine (ABPM). In addition, a list of competencies has
been developed for Preventive Medicine practitioners.1,2
Review of the competencies and the accompanying
performance indicators will assist in targeting content
areas for study or review.
A companion document prepared by the ABPM, entitled
Answers to Your Most Asked Questions, provides additional
information on the examination.

Candidates commonly inquire if review books, courses, or similar
exam preparation offerings are of value. Many examinees feel
that brief courses enhance recall of previously acquired
knowledge and improve one=s approach to multiple-choice
examinations in general. But it is quite unlikely that anyone will
learn, for example, biostatistics or toxicology, in a review course
or from a review CD or other media. Board and exam
committee members do not participate as faculty in such
activities nor are such practice questions abstracted from Board
examinations and vice versa. Some review questions may be
similar to examination questions; however it is not correct to infer
that there is a transfer of content as a small change in a
question or in a response may change what is the correct

The Guide includes outlines of core and specialty area
content; approximate percentage distributions of test
items; lists of books, periodicals, and other materials which
have been found to be useful to practitioners and
examinees; and general information about Board
examinations. The outlines and lists are not claimed to be
all-inclusive or definitive. In every specialty, time and
circumstances bring changes in what is expected of its
practitioners. Books grow out of date and are replaced by
later editions or alternative works by different authors. Thus,
although the Guide is revised from time to time, the Board
makes no claim that cited texts are best or most current
and cannot assure that persons who read any or all listed
texts will achieve competence or perform at some
predictable level on the examination. Further, it is well
recognized that personal backgrounds and preferences
are important determinants of the suitability of any
particular text or educational medium.…