Internal Medicine Certification Exam to Test Fewer Zebras, More Unicorns

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) has just announced a shift in curriculum focus for the Internal Medicine Certification Exam 2017.

“Common things are common. Therefore, think unicorns, not zebras.”

“For years the adage ‘When you hear hoofbeats, think of horses not zebras’ has puzzled internists who we have been tested relentlessly on zebras,” said a representative from ABIM.  “We hope to finally end the confusion by introducing our own expression to the medical lexicon, which will guide our certification exam: ‘When you hear hoofbeats, think of unicorns not zebras.”

“No longer will internists experience their own headaches after being asked about Sjaastad syndrome, nor will their differential for neck pain need to include Pott disease.”

An uncommon presentation of a common disease might be more common than a common presentation of an uncommon disease, but ABIM now seeks to test uncommon presentations of uncommon diseases.

“We think it’s important for the newly-trained internists of America to be able to identify the third reported case of HSAN1B if it ever does appear, or maybe they can identify Giovanni Mirror Syndrome from that one episode of House.”

“What the hell, we might even just make something up.”

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