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Board Preparation

General Cardiology Boards

Offering Organization: American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) 
Date: Usually late October – early November 
Deadline: Usually opens in March until May 
Cost: $2,345 
Review Course:
  • Mayo General Cardiology Board Review course in Sept 
  • ACC Cardiovascular Board Review also in Sept 
Requirements:Complete fellowship 
Study Guide:
  • Mayo General Cardiology Videos – EXCELLENT – I have version 2012 
  • ACC SAP 8 on Cardiosource – Very good as a “go to” text (Also get CMEs J) 
  • ACC/AHA Guidelines…all of them!! 
  • Mayo Clinic Cardiology Concise Textbook…Get most recent version 
  • ACC SAP 8 on Cardiosource 
  • Mayo Clinic Question and Answer Book…Get most recent version 
  • EKGs 
  • O’Keefe is a great resource 
  • ECG Source is an online program (cost $129) that allows you to code and get used to that process and also has an iPhone/iPad App with all the definitions, criteria, and sample ECGs 
  • ABIM Website to get the most recent coding sheet
  • - Board preparation site offering comprehensive study material and question banks.

Echocardiography Boards:  (Examination of Special Competence in Adult Echocardiography (ASCeXAM®)

Offering Organization: The National Board of Echocardiography (NBE)
Date: Usually end of July 
Deadline: Usually February 
Cost: $995 

Review Courses:

Requirements – Nothing special to take the exam but separate requirements to meet certain criteria for certification.  If you do not meet criteria for certification, you will have a testamur status after taking the exam until you meet criteria for certification.  The certification application and supporting documents are not required to register for the examination and can be submitted at any time.

Study Guide:

  • Mayo Echo Board Review Videos – EXCELLENT
  • ASE Echo Board Review Videos – EXCELLENT 
  • Feigenbaum for a Textbook (Good Physics and Instrumentation Chapter)
  • ASE Guidelines – KEY! – The guidelines on valvular regurgitation and stenosis are excellent.  The chamber quantification guidelines is high yield.  The diastolic dysfunction guideline is tough to read but need to get through it because they love diastology questions
  • 2011 AUC for Echo

Key Articles:

  • Feigenbaum 2010 – Role of M-Mode Technique in Today’s Echo (He writes ALL the M-mode ?s)
  • Foster 1991 – Accurate Localization of MR Defects using TEE – GREAT review on MV scallops


  • Klein & Asher - Clinical Echocardiography Reiew: A Self Assessment Tool
  • Pegasus ASE Questions (2 Exams of 160+ questions each) – No longer available but we have a very good print screen with explanations
  • ASE On-line Question Bank – Available on ASE Website for ~$200 – Give you 6 attempts at a full length exam
  • Pai - Echocardiography Board Review – I have a PDF version of the book with explanations – Some answers not correct…not the best but still 400 free questions

Nuclear Cardiology Boards: CBNC

Offering Organization: American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) and Certification Board of Nuclear Cardiology (CBNC) 
Date: Usually November/December 
Deadline: Start accepting in June-July 31 (late of ~ October) 
Cost: $950 ($1150 late fee, $2000 13th hour fee!) 

Review Course (registration opens in Spring) 
Nuclear Cardiology Board Exam Preparation Course usually in July and then again right before ASNC National Meeting 

Requirements (required prior to time of application) 

  • Level 2 training (4 months of training in fellowship, 300 cases, 30 cath correlations) 
  • All applicants must document Authorized User Status or a minimum of 80 hours of Classroom and Laboratory Training (CLT) in radiation safety that meets the NRC topic requirements. The CLT hours must have been taken no more than seven (7) years prior to the date of the exam for which you are applying. 
  • 80-hr Course: 
    Most of our fellows have used external course in the past: 
  • A preceptor letter must be provided from an individual who can verify the candidate’s total training in nuclear cardiology.  Will be provided by Dr. Alfonso once all requirements met.
Study Guides
  • ASNC Board Review videos are key! Have also all the slides printed 6 per page (185 pages) for notes 
  • ASNC Guidelines are great as well. Print them from the website (6 papers, about 10-20 pages each) 
  • Appropriate use criteria for Cardiac Radionuclide Imaging 2009 (JACC) 
  • NCKSAP 2010 is available on ASNC website for questions. If you want the online interactive version, its $180 for members and $310 for non-members
  • Question book by Jaber and Cerqueira, “Nuclear Cardiology Review: A Self-Assessment Tool” has about 200 questions ($74 on amazon) 
  • Should sit with Dr. Alfonso and discuss prior to applying

CT Boards

Offering Organization: Certification Board of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (CBCCT) 
Date: Usually Septmber 
Deadline: Usually opens March and ends May 1 (late until June 15) 
Cost: $725 (by May 1), $925 (until June 15), $2000 (13th hour until July 31st) 

Review Course:
Review Book:
  • Level 2 training must be complete at the time of application. Level 2 is 50 non-contrast cardiac CT exams and 150 contrast cardiac CT exams (may be from the same patient). For 35 of these cases, the applicant must be physically present and involved in the acquisition and interpretation. 
  •  How to Get Level 2 Training (required) 
Study Guides: 
  • CCT SAP (available for FREE via Cardiosource) is a GREAT resource. I printed all the material and used this for notes 
  • SCCT Board Review Videos 
  • Appropriate use criteria for Cardiac CT 2010 (JACC) 
  • SCCT Cardiovascular CT Board Prep Book for questions 

  • 170 questions in 4.5 hours, each question has 4 answer choices 
  • CT boards are like nuclear board-You have to show them your #s in order for you to sit for the exam. 
  • Fellows/Residents: Testamur - If you have not yet taken your Cardiology, Nuclear Medicine or Radiology boards you may apply to sit for the CBCCT exam in a Testamur status provided at the time of application you are in: 1) your penultimate year of Cardiology, Nuclear Medicine or Radiology training and will be in your final year at the time of the CBCCT exam; or 2) your in your final year of training; or 3) you completed your training within 12 months of applying for the CBCCT exam. 
  • Upon successfully passing the CBCCT exam, you will be granted Testamur status until documentation of Board certification in Cardiology, Nuclear Medicine or Radiology and a current medical license is received by CBCCT. Six (6) exam cycles in your specialty will be permitted to submit documentation after which the Testamur status will lapse and the CBCCT exam must be retaken to become a Diplomate.

Special Thanks to Dr. Rhea Sancassani for bringing together the information above and sharing it with us. 
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