How Important is Biostatistics on BPS Exams?

You're considering taking one of the BPS exams (e.g., BCPS, BCACP, BCCP, BCCCP, BCOP, etc), so naturally you want to know what to expect. You, like many of our BPS review customers, may wonder - Just how important are biostatistics and clinical literature to my exam?

The short answer is, very important. In fact, without proper preparation in these areas, you will not pass your BPS exam.  

Today, you cannot talk about healthcare without talking about evidence-based clinical practice. Whether it's EBM, EBP, EBHC (You get the idea), there has been a major paradigm shift in healthcare towards evidence-based education and medicine. Since 1992, EBM has evolved and has been integrated into board exams and patient care.

To understand the reason for these systematic changes, it helps to look back. Take for example, the "Back to Sleep" campaign. Beginning in the 1950s, pediatricians advised parents to lay their babies in the prone position to prevent infants from asphyxiating in their sleep, should they spit up in the night. This common-sense recommendation persisted into the 1980s despite mounting evidence that sleeping in the prone position is associated with greater infant mortality rates.

Even with the availability of published evidence indicating that babies sleeping on their backs saved lives, prone sleeping was still recommended until around 1994. This widespread misinformation cost lives. Common sense is not enough. Patient care practices must be supported by evidence.

Patient care is not solely determined by evidence, however. EBM is about a health care professional answering a single clinical question, about an individual patient situation, considering the following factors equally:

  1. Best available evidence
  2. Clinical expertise
  3. Patient specific factors

Practicing EBM involves combining, and equally weighing, all three factors.

Let's bring it back to the exams. Biostatistics and Clinical Literature are undeniably essential study topics for your BPS exam. The problem is the skills needed to acquire and analyze the data are often over complicated by educators. The material becomes intimidating for most and may be a contributing factor to historically low pass rates.

High-Yield lectures provide focused, relevant content.  Our Q-Bank My Performance tool allows you to assess your areas of strength and weakness through practice questions. Our Integrated Reviews give you the opportunity to apply what you've learned through application of content to real-world clinical scenarios and an opportunity to earn CPE.

Ultimately, clinical literature and biostatistics have become core components of the BPS exams for the same reason they play such a large part in healthcare today- because it is good for the patient. When evidence is combined with expertise and individual patient factors, we, as healthcare professionals, can improve our level of care.

Isn't that what certification is all about?