professional and social network for cardiology
I just took the echo boards this past month. It is definitely one of the more challenging board exams, and definitely requires thorough study and preparation to pass.
I felt overall the test was reasonable and fair. There were a few questions here and there on minutiae and esoteric stuff, but not excessive. You definitely have to know some physics for the exam.
Here are some of the study sources my colleagues and I used:
1) Textbooks: A) Jae K. Oh (Echo Manual) - Very concise, easy to read. I felt this was an excellent book, and possibly the only book you will need. Some people read this book cover to cover a few times over, and felt prepared for the exam.
B) Catherine Otto - Very clinically oriented, not geared for the board exam. I read this book in preparation, but looking back I probably would stay away from this book.
C) Feigenbaum - I haven't read this book, but many of the images used in prior exams I've been told come from this book. I've been told this book is very good. It also comes with a CD with video cases which is very useful to go through.
People have read more than one text book. If you do, I would recommend the Oh and Feigenbaum textbooks.
2) ASE Review Course - I attended this course, and found it very well organized and useful, definitely worth attending. If you don't have the time, you can also purchase the lectures on the website, which I would highly recommend
3) Mayo Review Course DVDs - I watched a few of these, and thought they were excellent. My colleagues also had very good things to say about the course.
4) Pegasus DVD Practice Questions - I purchased this DVD, and found the practice questions very difficult, but useful. The explanations were thorough and well written. Highly recommended.
5) For physics - Edelman has a textbook on ultrasound physics, which I think is excessive. The Pegasus DVD has a package deal which includes a concise ultrasound physics book, which is an excellent read, with questions at the end of every chapter. You probably can get by with just the ASE Review course material on physics.
6) ASE Guideline and Review Articles - The ASE website has published guidelines on major topics (ie. valvular regurgitation, prosthetic valves, etc), ALL of which are excellent. I would HIGHLY recommend studying these documents in addition to a text.
7) Old Questions - If you can get a hold of them, I would highly recommend reviewing questions from prior exams, as they recycle questions frequently.
Good luck for those taking the exam in July!