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My Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist or BCPS Exam Experience

BCPS stands for Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist.  I’ve put together a little summary of what my BCPS exam experience was like.
So my mind would not let me sleep, and felt I needed to do a little more cramming for my BCPS exam on Saturday morning.  At 430 I got myself ready and stopped by a local Perkins near the testing center to get my energy up and get those last few clinical pearls in my head for the 5 hour exam ahead of me.
There honestly wasn’t a ton that surprised me… the study guides online do a pretty good job of identifying what to study.  A simple Google search of BCPS exam will get you what you need along with the ACCP notes is what I used.  The huge challenge is the variety and scope of the exam – basically anything and everything.  There were definitely a few questions where I could’ve closed my eyes and picked one, but I felt as if I could at least narrow down the majority to at least two or three different choices which should help my odds of passing.  I’m thankful it’s over and am ready to accept whatever fate it brings.
There was one thing that really jumped out at me after the test was over…the survey.  You’re probably thinking what? Who cares about the survey after the exam?  –  I felt the same way.  I wanted to go take a nap.  I didn’t want to do it after racking my brain through 200 questions of random pharmacy topics and statistics.  My conscience got the better of me and I did it.  Where am I going with this?  –  I got nearly to the end and the question went something like “why did you take this Exam”, check all that apply.   There were about 7 or 8 options and I checked the first one which was career advancement and then started going down the list.  Promotion, increased status, bonus, employer paid for it, and a couple others were on the list.  There was one reason that did not appear in the list and I was really surprised that the creators of the survey didn’t even list that as a possibility.  What about improve the lives of my patients?  This post is not intended to float my own boat and I apologize if it sounds that way, but I know a couple pharmacists who wanted to take the exam to improve their skills and become a better pharmacist so they are able to provide a higher quality of patient care.  I’m not delusional and know that some of those other factors certainly play a role in deciding to take an exam like this, but to not have some sort of a statement about patient care was shocking.  I’d be interest in knowing who creates the survey and if anyone proofs it.  In defense of the survey, there was an “other” box, but no line to write anything in.  Good luck to anyone else who is taking the challenge this year!  Just my two cents on the BCPS exam!
Looking for some practice to help you prepare for the BCPS exam?  I created a 200 question exam that you won’t have to take out a student loan to purchase!

Written By Eric Christianson

October 29, 2013

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