Thursday afternoon, several ninth and tenth trimester interns
left for Part IV Board Exams. National University of Health
Sciences does not hold Part IV on campus, so most students go to
Iowa or St. Louis for the exams. I went to Palmer College of
Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, for my final board exams. After
taking four other board exams, I walked into Part IV with a very
different attitude than the other ones. I'm not sure if it was
confidence having taken the other parts or just anticipation of
board exams being behind me.
Friday morning I had the first part of the exam, which was
diagnostic imaging. This exam consists of 10 stations with X-rays,
CT scans or MRI scans. After reading the films, I had to answer
questions about diagnosis, treatment plan, any needed referrals,
additional imaging, or additional diagnostic tests.
Saturday was the difficult day. Case management and chiropractic
technique exams were given that day. The case management exam was
very similar to many of the practical exams we had throughout
school. In the first few rooms, I took detailed case histories on a
simulated patient. Following these rooms, I went into a follow-up
room, which had more patient information, X-rays, and diagnostic
tests that added to the patient presentation. With all that
information, I needed to come up with a differential diagnosis,
treatment plan, any needed referrals, or additional diagnostic
Following these rooms, I went through several orthopedic and
neurologic testing rooms. In these rooms, I was given a list of
procedures to perform on the patient, I had to verbalize my
findings to the doctor in the room, and answer questions pertaining
to the case after.
The final portion of the exam was chiropractic technique. In
this section, I was given two chiropractic manipulations or
mobilizations to perform on a simulated patient. The chiropractic
listing for the patient and the name of the adjustments were posted
outside the room, which gave me time to think about set-up and
procedure. Once in the room, I performed all the steps up to the
actual thrust, and instead of thrusting I stated what my line of
drive would be to the doctor that was grading.
The entire exam on Saturday was about two and a half hours long.
So by the time I was finished, I was so burnt out mentally. The
worst part of the second day of the exams was the wait time after I
finished. In order to keep people from cheating or sending answers
to students taking the exam on the West Coast, we were sequestered
following the exam until all the West Coast students had checked
in. But, overall, I think the exam went well and fingers crossed I
passed. My scores are posted in late December. For additional
information about board exams you can go to NBCE.org.