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BoardVitals CME Review
A detailed review of the BoardVitals Continuing Medical Education (CME) plans and features
To keep up with the latest developments and best practices in your field, and earn the CME credits you need to maintain certification, you’re going to need a solid CME provider. BoardVitals is one such respected CME source. They claim that their subscribers have a 7% higher pass rate than the national average, and they have immediate appeal with online-only courses that work around your busy schedule. But is their physician-run company, with online-only content and question banks, the right choice for you when pursuing your CME options? We answer just that question and more in this detailed review of BoardVitals’ CME program.
Given that this is a fairly lengthy review, we’ve included helpful jump-to links above for easy navigation.
How The BoardVitals CME Process Works
The Continuing Medical Education (CME) courses through BoardVitals provide you with comprehensive questions banks, detailed answers, and performance tracking, while giving you the flexibility to deepen your knowledge and earn credits based on your own scheduling needs.
Their CME offerings include review questions in 30 different areas of specialization, and they’ve made it really easy to earn CME credits.
After logging into your BoardVitals account you will have access to their dashboard. From there, you have the ability to answer questions by creating quizzes, either customized by you or selected as “quick start”.
Your CME hours will accrue as you proceed through the questions. Once all of the questions are answered with a required passing percentage (usually around 70%-75% depending on your specialty), you simply claim your credits by completing and submitting a form and evaluation.
You can print a certificate showing your completed hours or you can wait for one to show up in your inbox. It’s that simple. And honestly, it’s that ease and convenience that really appealed to me.
Our Analysis Of The BoardVitals CME Study Materials
Now that I’ve covered how the BoardVitals CME process works, let’s touch on some more specific information regarding the components of their CME courses. Let’s take a closer look at the questions, quizzes, performance analytics, and more.
Questions and Quizzes
In a nutshell, the BoardVitals CME plans are designed for online self-assessment. They give you the chance to refresh your knowledge and earn credits by supplying questions with a case-style review approach, trying to mimic the real situations you might encounter in your daily practice.
I really like that each question involves thorough, evidence-based explanations of all answer possibilities, not just the correct one. If you are like me, and you want to know not only why the correct answer is right but why the incorrect answers are wrong, you will really like these detailed answer explanations.
In addition to the explanations that follow each question, there are a few other features that impressed me, especially the ability to flag questions so I could easily find them when I wanted to revisit them.
Having the ability to highlight and strike-through questions and answers was also helpful. It was very easy to eliminate unwanted answer choices and highlight important information by using these tools. I’ve always been a note taker, so I was particularly fond of the feature that allowed me to make notes on a question, and how easy it was for me to access the notes later.
The BoardVitals CME quizzes can be taken in Study Mode, Untimed Test Mode, or Timed Test Mode. In study mode, you are able to take as much time as you need to answer the questions and answers to the questions, together with detailed explanations, are presented as you go. As a result, quizzes taken in Study Mode are not considered in your performance.
Taking a test in the Untimed Test Mode provides you with a more accurate real test experience, except that you won’t be under the gun to finish in a specified time. You will not be provided with answers or explanations, and your quizzes will be reflected in your overall performance.
Finally, in the Timed Test Mode, you will take the test (without visible answers and explanations), within a customized, limited time frame, and your scores will be reflected in your performance metrics.
I found the digital platform of BoardVitals’ CME program to be crisp, clean and extremely easy to navigate. After logging in, you are taken to the dashboard. Along the top is a question bank tab, with a drop-down menu where you can access your current subscriptions. Next, you can choose to create or view quizzes from another drop-down.
At the center of the dashboard you will have options to customize new quizzes and view all quizzes you’ve previously created. With just a quick glance, I was able to see how many quizzes I needed to finish, and how much time was left to do so.
If you are one who needs constant motivation, you’ll be glad to know that your performance summary is easily accessed from the dashboard.
I was able to not only see my overall performance (questions I’d answered correctly vs. total amount of questions), but my response time. I found this response time information extremely helpful in increasing fluidity and preparing myself with better timing for tests.
You’ll be glad to know that BoardVitals CME has a mobile app, making it super easy to study on the go.
With the mobile app, you can download quizzes for later use, providing you the opportunity to work when the internet isn’t available. Personally, I didn’t download any quizzes from the mobile app, but I can see where it would be a useful feature.
You’ll have access to all of your question bank features and performance information, as well as a peer ranking showing how you compare to other using the same question bank. I really liked having this comparison. After all, who doesn’t like to know where they stand in relation to others in the same boat?
Additionally, I liked that I had the same ability to mark, highlight, strike-out, and make notes on questions with the mobile app as I did from my computer.
No Books (All Online)
That’s right. No books. No audio or video content either. The question banks with BoardVitals CME are entirely online, making it extremely easy to check out a case question anytime you have 10 minutes to spare, like while you’re on a quick meal break or breather during your shift.
As one who likes hard copy materials in my hand (as well as liking auditory and visual reinforcement), I was a little resistant at first, but eventually it didn’t seem like such a big deal. The question banks were comprehensive and up-to-date, and combined with the thorough explanations for each answer, they provided me with what I needed to earn my hours. In the end, that’s what matters. Even with no books.
BoardVitals is so confident in the quality of their CME question banks that they have a 100% pass guarantee. With this guarantee, if you fail to pass and earn your credits, they will give you a free subscription, equal to the length of time your originally purchased, until you do so.
Better yet, they will provide this free subscription for as many times as is needed for you to pass and get your hours. It is unlikely that you’d need to utilize this guarantee, but it’s nice to know it’s there if you need it.
BoardVitals CME Plans & Pricing
BoardVitals CME plans cost anywhere from $600 to $3,800 depending on the subscription you choose. There are two basic programs, which differ according to the duration of access you want.
For the basic CME Professional program, you’ll pay about $600 for six months of access. For 12 months of access, expect to pay around $1,000. Regardless of which duration you choose, you’re getting full and unlimited access to the material with all questions in your area of specialty, with no limits as to when or how often you can log in.
Alternately, you have the option to purchase the CME Pro Plus program, which not only gives you complete access to the program for 12, 18 or 24 months, but you’ll also get a $1,000, $1,500 or $2,000 Amazon or American Express gift card to use for furthering your education even more.
The CME Pro Plus programs cost around $2,000 for 12 months with a $1,000 gift card, $2,900 for 18 months with a $1,500 gift card or $3,800 for a 24-month subscription with a $2,000 gift card. Personally, it made no sense for me to pay more just to get a gift card, so I chose to pay the thousand dollars for 12 months of access.
I can, however, see the benefit of paying more for the CME Pro Plus in certain circumstances, like if your employer pays for your continuing education or if you have an unused CME allowance.
It is of worthy mention that BoardVitals works with Vaccine Ambassadors in an effort to protect children from vaccine preventable diseases. With each new customer, BoardVitals donates a vaccine for children in need through their #GiveVax program.
The key features of the plans remain the same regardless of which you choose to pursue. You will get detailed explanations for every question using evidence-based rationales, case studies written by faculty contributors drawn from the top research institutions, leading publications and more than 500 specialist contributors.
The case-style format offers up challenging questions using high-quality images, photographs, graphics, charts and visual aids whenever they apply, along with the ability to earn your CME credits on the fly.
If you’re not sure about how the question bank, BoardVitals offers a free sample question on the signup page. You can attempt to answer the question, view the response and learn exactly how the program works to see for yourself just how open and easy the process is, and how challenging and worthy the questions are.
CME Specialties Covered By BoardVitals
There are 30 specialties available in which you can achieve CMEs though BoardVitals. In addition, you have your choice of access, which not only enables you to get the CMEs you need in your own area of specialization, but can also expand your horizons. The various specialty areas available through the BoardVitals CME program include:
Are you specializing in Child Neurology and want to expand your knowledge in Child Psychiatry? The BoardVitals program can allow you to do just that. Specializing in Orthopedic Surgery but want to check into some of the latest developments in General Medicine? It’s easy to access through the BoardVitals CME specialties.
All you have to do is choose the area of specialty you want and dive in. You can even use the CME Coach feature to find out the specific requirements for your state and discover the areas of specialty that complement your own.
Verdict: BoardVitals CME Review
In the simplest of terms, the BoardVitals CME program is definitely worth a look. Not only does it provide a complete and comprehensive program for obtaining your CME credits (accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education), but it also offers a convenient approach to earning these credits around your busy schedule.
The program offers detailed and complete explanations of each question with evidence-based rationales, and you can adjust the answers as you go. The questions are based on case studies, so you’ll encounter the same types of problems you might deal with as a physician, meaning the knowledge you’re gaining is practical rather than just theoretical.
The cases are written by over 500 specialists and contributors from top faculty in leading research institutions and publishers, so you’re getting the best-of-the-best information.
Finally, the program is fast, easy to use and convenient. It works with any device, including computers, smartphones and tablets, so you can log in to answer questions whenever you have the time, anywhere you have internet access.
It’s quick, convenient and entirely up to date. My only quibble with the CME offerings of BoardVitals is that there are no video lessons, audio explanations or printed materials (books), but in the end, it isn’t a dealbreaker. I just would have preferred the addition, or at least the option to add on, a workbook type of resource.
Overall though, for busy and on-the-go healthcare professionals, this program is an outstanding resource to help you gain the credits you need and we believe it is definitely worth purchasing.