2012 NBEO Part II (PAM) FAQs
Q: What is tested on Part II of boards?
A: Part II of boards is an expanded Patient Assessment and Management (PAM) section, which was previously a smaller portion included in Part III of boards. With the changes, PAM is entirely on Part II and not on Part III.
Q: When do we take NBEO Part II?
A: Students are eligible to take NBEO Part II midway through the fourth academic year. Therefore, the targeted administration (i.e., the administration that most students take when they become eligible) will be in December. There will be two opportunities to take Part II prior to graduation, as there will be an additional administration in April. The final paper-and-pencil PAM will be administered in November 2011. Beginning in April 2012, the test will be administered at computer based testing centers (Pearson Testing Centers).
|Exam Dates||Registration Deadline||Late Registration Deadline||Withdrawal/Site Change|
|April 3, 2012||January 31, 2012||February 14, 2012||February 14, 2012|
|December 4, 2012||*dates have not yet been released|
Q: How long is the exam?
A: The PAM examination will consist of 60 simulated patient cases and is administered over two sessions, each 3 ½ hours in length.
Q: Can you give me any specifics on the types of cases?
A: According to the NBEO website, the exam will be broken down as follows:
Disease/Trauma (60% - 70% of cases):
- Lids / lashes / lacrimal system / ocular adnexa / orbit (2 - 4 cases)
- Conjunctiva / cornea / refractive surgery (6 - 8 cases)
- Lens / cataract / IOL / pre- and post-operative care (3 - 5 cases)
- Episclera / sclera / uvea (2 - 4 cases)
- Vitreous / retina (6 - 8 cases)
- Optic nerve / neuro-ophthalmic pathways (5 - 7 cases)
- Glaucoma (2 - 4 cases)
- Emergencies (2 - 4 cases)
- Systemic health (2 - 4 cases)
Refractive Status/Sensory Processes/Oculomotor Processes (30% - 40% of cases):
- Ametropia (3 - 5 cases)
- Ophthalmic optics (1 - 3 cases)
- Contact lenses (3 - 5 cases)
- Low vision (1 - 3 cases)
- Accommodative / vergence / oculomotor anomalies (2 - 4 cases)
- Amblyopia / strabismus (1 - 3 cases)
- Perceptual function / color vision (1 - 3 cases)
- Visual and human development (1 - 3 cases)
Q: Are the cases going to be presented in a straightforward manner, or will they try to trick us with conflicting exam findings?
A: Patient cases generally focus on either typical presentations of relatively high-frequency conditions or conditions with low-frequency but high-criticality. When low-frequency, high-criticality cases are presented, they will be portrayed in a classic, straightforward manner.
Q: What exam findings are they going to give us?
A: Each patient case begins with a scenario in which the patient history and clinical data are presented. These data usually include at least one visual (e.g., color ophthalmic photographs; contact lens fluorescein pattern; spectacle frame fitting problem; visual field plots; other instrumentation printouts). The scenarios are followed by either 5 or 6 related multiple-choice test items, for a total of 350 items. Each test item contains as many as 10 options, only one of which is correct. Some patient cases in the PAM exam may include normal clinical photos and/or visuals. Thus, it is anticipated that Candidates will review and appropriately interpret the visuals included in the patient cases.
Q: What types of questions will they ask about the cases?
|Type of Test Item||Content|
|Diagnosis||Most appropriate diagnosis|
|Related to diagnosis||Indicate data supporting or correlating with diagnosis, correlation of possible additional data, or indicate additional data or next test needed|
|Treatment/Management||Most appropriate treatment/management|
|Related to Treatment/Management||Treatment mechanism; additional data needed to treat effectively; additional data or next test needed; patient education; follow-up|
|Clinical Correlation of Basic Science Principals||pathophysiology / etiology, anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, immunology / microbiology / pathology, optics, pharmacology|
|Legal Issues / Ethics||licensure and governmental regulation of optometry, standards of professional ethics, doctor-patient relationship, professional liability|
|Public Health||epidemiology, biostatistics and measurement, environmental vision, health care policy and administration|
Q: What about TOMD questions?
A: Of the 350 items that comprise the PAM examination, 100 - 120 are categorized as TMOD (Treatment and Management of Ocular Disease) items. It is included as a sub-test within NBEO Part II. A TMOD breakout score and pass-fail decision will be determined based on these items, and reported for state boards requirements. In order to be classified as a TMOD item, the content of the item must pertain to one or more of the following:
- Formulation of most appropriate disease diagnosis which will be treated and/or managed
- Clinical correlation of basic science principles related to disease diagnosis and treatment
- Selection of treatment/management, including systemic considerations
- Dose, form, schedule, and duration of treatment
- Contraindications and side effects of medication, including systemic considerations
- Follow-up and prognosis, including reassessment of diagnosis after initiating treatment
- Treatment and management of ocular emergencies and urgencies
Q: How will pharmaceutical agents be referred to on the exam?
A: individual drugs included on PAM are referenced by generic or trade name, but not both. The PAM examination booklet will include two lists of generic drugs and their trade name equivalents. The first list alphabetizes the drugs by their trade names, and that list is printed on the inside front cover of the test booklet. The second list alphabetizes the drugs by their generic names, and that list is printed on the inside back cover. These lists do not include every drug used on PAM; rather, they include those drugs on the test that have commonly utilized trade names. These two lists may be used as resources throughout the test.
Q: Will clinical abbreviations be used on the exam?
A: Commonly utilized abbreviations are included in the PAM patient cases consistent with a prepared abbreviations list. A copy of the PAM Examination Abbreviations List is included in the examination booklet and may be used as a resource throughout the test.
The following information was taken from the NBEO website.
PLEASE VISIT THE NBEO WEBSITE FOR EXAMPLE QUESTIONS AND OTHER INFORMATION