PHM 19: PREP yourself for the PHM boards

Get ready for the first-ever ABP PHM exam



Jared Austin, MD, FAAP

Ryan Bode, MD, FAAP

Jeremy Kern, MD, FAAP

Mary Ottolini, MD, MPH, MEd, FAAP

Stacy Pierson, MD, FAAP

Mary Rocha, MD, MPH, FAAP

Susan Walley, MD, CTTS, FAAP

Session summary

Professional development sessions at the Pediatric Hospital Medicine 2019 conference intended to further educate pediatric hospitalists and advance their careers. In November 2019, many pediatric hospitalists will be taking subspecialty PHM boards for the very first time. This PHM19 session had clear objectives: to describe the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) PHM board content areas, to analyze common knowledge gaps in PREP PHM, and to examine different approaches to clinical management of PHM patients.

Dr. Mirna Giordano, a pediatric neurosurgery hospitalist at Columbia University Medical Center in New York

Dr. Mirna Giordano

The session opened with a brief history of a vision of PHM and the story of its realization. In 2016, a group of eight stalwart writers, four new writers, and three editors created PREP 2018 and 2019 questions that were released in full prior to November 2019. The ABP will offer the board exam in 2019, 2021, and 2023

The exam content domains include the following:

  • Medical conditions.
  • Behavioral and mental health conditions.
  • Newborn care.
  • Children with medical complexity.
  • Medical procedures.
  • Patient and family centered care.
  • Transitions of care.
  • Quality improvement, patient safety and system based improvement.
  • Evidence-based, high-value care.
  • Advocacy and leadership.
  • Ethics, legal issues, and human rights.
  • Teaching and education.
  • Core knowledge in scholarly activities.

Each question consists of a case vignette, question, response choices, critiques, PREP PEARLs, and references. There are also additional PREP Ponder Points that intend to prompt reflection on practice change.

For the remainder of the session presenters reviewed the PHM PREP questions that were most frequently answered incorrectly. Some of the topics included: asthma vs. anaphylaxis, venous thromboembolism prophylaxis in surgical patients, postoperative feeding regimens, transmission-based precautions, febrile neonates, Ebola, medical child abuse, absolute indications for intubation, toxic megacolon, palivizumab prophylaxis guidelines, key driver diagrams, and infantile hemangiomas.

Key takeaway

Pediatric hospitalists all over the United States will for the first time ever take PHM boards in November 2019. The exam content domains were demonstrated in detail, and several often incorrectly answered PREP questions were presented and discussed.

Dr. Giordano is assistant professor in pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center, New York.

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