Summary of Dr. Argy's approach to board preparation:
Three decades of experience as a physician and educator have established Dr. Argy's expertise in two areas:
-- presenting health information to general and medical audiences via live television and public speaking.
-- teaching effective communication, listening and presentation skills to physician and non-physician audiences and individuals.
As a presenter of health information, he is an exceptional educator with an energetic and engaging style on camera and with live audiences. He acquires new information quickly, selects essential elements of content to be conveyed, and uses creative methods to help an audience understand and use complex medical and scientific concepts.
Dr. Argy has developed innovative, intuitive techniques in a supportive, non-stressful environment to teach all the components of effective communication: mastering the subject, understanding the audience, organizing, delivering, listening, and using words/voice/body language convincingly. Any speaker with this training can build powerful presentations, deliver them confidently and comfortably, and convey messages that are clear, concise, and compelling.
Dr. Argy's background and how he created his courses:
Television experience: From November, 1995 to May, 1999, he was the host and moderator of a weekly, live, one hour health program, Doctors On Call,on WABU-TV 68, a commercial television station in Boston, which is the sixth largest market in the country. Dr. Argy honed his skills in presenting information effectively under tight time pressure -- skills which are eminently applicable to the surgery certifying exam. (You can see clips of Dr. Argy on Doctors On Call below, talking about flu vaccines, and introducing the program on heart disease.)
The start of teaching board prep: For four years he taught for the Osler Institute's written and oral board prep courses. In order to teach more effectively, Dr. Argy reviewed thousands of exam scenarios dating back to the early 1980's. He learned what content was covered, how the content was shifting over time, and the various methods used by the examiners to ask questions and challenge candidates. He also discovered the common assumptions and approaches that candidates typically had, as well as the usual pitfalls that caused candidates to have difficulties. He learned to identify the strengths and weaknesses of candidate presentations, and developed his own teaching techniques to allow candidates to overcome their difficulties. He quickly found that his own techniques were diametrically opposite to what other faculty were recommending. Personal feedback from hundreds of candidates praising his methods confirmed that Dr. Argy's techniques worked, and that the Osler faculty's approaches did not. Those students (and half the Osler faculty) urged him to start his own courses. In addition, the enormous course sizes of 200 candidates and the timing of the courses just before the exam were clearly not appropriate for effective teaching.
The shift to Odyssey:
Dr. Argy began teaching with his own company, Odyssey, in 1999. Through Odyssey, Dr. Argy has been able to dedicate himself to teaching small groups of candidates, giving each individual surgeon the attention she/he deserves, and using his original, innovative techniques which are truly effective in preparing candidates for their board exams.
Designed for success: Dr. Argy shared his understanding of the nuances of oral board preparation with his students and further honed his creative and innovative approaches to teaching board preparation, with the active integration of neuroscientifically based principles of learning and behavior. He is able to coach each and every candidate how to optimize his or her particular performance. The results were impressive. Within two years, based on his first 105 candidates, Odyssey had already achieved a statistically significant improvement in next-time oral board exam performance with a p less than 0.05. By the end of 5 years, the statistical significance had improved even further, to p less than 0.001.
Book: Demystifying the Surgery Certifying Examination; A Guide: The Guide blends Dr. Argy's two decades of board preparation experience with his insight into the exam process and the skills needed to excel. Although not intended to be a "how to" manual, the Guide does give the reader the understanding of the examination's nuanced logistics and the sophisticated communication skills required. That understanding serves as a foundation on which experienced guidance in the proper setting can build powerful preparation and peak performance skills for candidates under the stressful conditions of the Certifying Examination.