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Complaints

Resolving Simple Issues 

The raison d’etre of the Foot and Ankle Research Consortium, Inc., and the portal http://www.PodiatryPrep.org is to help podiatrists pass the board certification [re-certification], qualification, and/or state licensure examination of their choice.

We also assist medical and residency directors statistically track the progress of their interns and residence thru the portal http://www.PodiatryPrep.com

We work diligently to achieve our mission and have successfully done so for more than 25 years. Still, occasionally a colleague is unhappy despite our best efforts. And so, we have learned that such unease occurs for a number of minor reasons that are usually reconciled by our administrative staff or technology department. These include:

  • Computer illiteracy [one doctor asked the meaning of the term “icon”].
  • Wrong product [occurs when purchased by a spouse/parent unfamiliar with the exams; or the doctor does not know the difference among the various boards].
  • Not reviewing our website; or not calling for information.
  • Guarantee [product backed; not money backed].
  • Payment via PayPal.
  • Failure: [we reverse-engineered one doctor’s program to find that less than 3 of 120 possible hours of preparation time was spent using it].

Note: Please review order[s] carefully and retain a copy of your order form. There are no refunds for wrong intellectual property purchases.

Thus, we strive to help colleagues avoid similar problems and to get help with your issue ASAP!  Be sure to check back frequently to see how we are treating our more than 8,000 customers … and podiatric colleagues.

 

Some Sample Illustrative Concerns 

###

Dear Richard Grayson, DPM
 
Many thanks for reaching out to us.

After careful review of your order form, and recorded conversation with the sales department, it appears that you have received the correct product as ordered.

Why?

The best single product for the Re-Certification test is indeed the customized study guide, as discussed with you [.ORG]. The Re-Cert test involves less rote memory and requires much more experiential input. Hence, the different didactic psychometric styles. So, study with what you have now as it is the most cost effective way to go. And, recall our “guarantee to pass.” Good luck. You will do fine!

SUPPORT-THANK YOU

 We go to great lengths at our call services center – and on our blog websites – to educate colleagues about our products and services so that they avoid any unintended surprises … and receive exactly the FARC services they want … and PodiatryPrep products they need.” 

Director of Marketing – FARC, Inc

###

Hi Dr. Marcinko

I read on the website that credit cards online could not be submitted. but is it possible to call in and order the .COM software with a credit card over the phone?  This would be ordered with a University Visa Credit Card that is approved for such purposes.  If not, then it would be fine, I would just purchase outright and then submit for reimbursement by the University. If you could let me know as soon as you are able, either via this email or by phone at 215-756-3251, that would be greatly appreciated!

Respectfully,
Kathya M. Zinszer, DPM
Chairman for Department of Podiatric Medicine & Orthopedics
Temple University- Eighth at Race Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 756-3251(c) 

FARC Response: We use PayPal. This policy is to reduce identity theft, credit card and internet fraud concerns.

**

Dear FARC, Inc:

I failed my ABPS oral surgical examination by one point. Can I get my money back refund, now?

Anonymous DPM [Baltimore, Maryland]

FARC Response: An updated program has been forwarded to the doctor, and the issue promptly resolved. FYI: This exam is likely the most difficult in the profession.

***

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27 comments

  1. Hey,

    I love your programs; both MED and SURG. And, the content is very current and extremely comprehensive; but a few seem just a bit dated too. Not really a complaint but, what gives?

    Dr. Craig

    ###

    Dear Doctor Craig,

    Many thanks for contacting us with your content query.

    Yes, our QAs are accretive. This means that we continually add new queries, while retaining the old. So, we’ve grown from 1,000 questions to our current extreme volume. This is to compensate for academic variability, and a general lack of state law uniformity, anatomic definition incongruity, and board exam inclusion time-lag. Remember, the Reverdin osteotomy was first proposed in 1892 and will surely still be on the test. But, historical review is important for MED preparation, too.

    So, our programs are indeed voluminous and include previous, current and projected new material for completeness sake; and the differing clients and agendas we serve. And, they are best used as an integrated suite of our companion products; not as a singular uncoupled CD or SaaS.

    Remember, while we do make educated guesses each year regarding test content updates, we are never absolutely sure. The bar slowly rises each year. Moreover, know that we try to mimic modern testing psychometric tactics, such as stressor or challenge questions. Remember, this is test-preparation and not cheating, so study very hard and beware.

    We appreciate your inquiry. Trust this helps.

    Technical Suport


  2. Hi PodiatryPrep.com

    I am sorry about my tone in the last phone call, and e-mail I sent out. The rotation that I am on has made me not myself, however there is no excuse, as I re-read the e-mail I sent last night this morning, I feel embarrassed that it was ever sent.

    Your company has always helped me whenever I had a problem and I believe 100% that I passed NBPME II and PMLEXIS because of your company.

    When I uploaded the last CD of questions which was sent to me it would not let me load it onto my computer because it said that I already had a surgery version loaded on my computer. When this happened I took the CD out and uploaded it onto my desktop and it worked fine. I then opened both surgery versions up and started to go through the questions and I noticed that more then 50% repeated themselves from each CD, and I did not see more than 15 rear-foot questions on either.

    Granted I only went through a few modules and not all of them.

    This is what concerned me that maybe I had not ordered the correct CD to help me prepare for the ABPS FF and RR boards.

    I should have just asked you this question: “if I had ordered the correct CD for this test?” However, I did not, and I have no excuse for it. I hope that you can accept my apology on this matter as I believe your company creates great material and I tell anyone I come across this as well.

    Again, I was just worried I did not get the correct CD. I am sorry for the tone in my last e-mail and phone call … there is no excuse for this.

    Adam DPM

    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    FOLLOW-UP

    Dear Dr. Adam

    Thank you for your reply.

    This sort of thing happens occasionally to time-compressed, anxious and fearful young doctors.

    Please realize that many of our products are custom-made; not off the shelf. They are individually “burned” for each client-customer and colleague. And so, we did indeed include some prior material for your review, on the same CD-ROM, as a convenience and N/C professional courtesy.

    In this way, you did not have to change CDs in mid-study, or change hard-drives in mid-study; back and forth.

    Moreover, these CDs are massive and I am glad that you realized same once you started to review ALL the modules.

    Again, our goal is to support and assist all podiatric colleagues, in all of their professional testing endeavors, throughout their entire careers.

    Cheers,
    Team Support
    FARC, Inc


  3. Hi Ann,

    I have a problem and would very much appreciate your help.

    The exam CD [surgery re-cert] had errors. I will be happy to return the CD and send along my list of corrections. Also, there are no pictures on the library study guide.

    Podiatry is a small community and I would like to have positive things to say about your company.

    Dr. Gary D. Prant, DPM
    11824 Jollyville Road
    Suite #101
    Austin, TX 78759

    [original letter modified for clarity]


  4. Hello Dr. Prant,

    These so-called “wrong” questions by-design are called psychological “stress questions” and are used to evoke the exact [edited] response you exhibited – emotional volatility – just like the real test. So, BEWARE! They were not used when you were a student, back-in-the-day.

    Please review our website and blog again.

    Moreover, although we have other products with beautiful illustrations, intra-operative photographs, MRIs, CTs and X-rays, etc – the study guide does contains a moderate amount; again by-design per/version.

    Why? The surgical re-certification test relies less on rote memory and more on experiential content, and may be very different from any other test you have ever taken to-date.

    Remember, there is an extreme difference between FARC Inc pure testing psychometrics with board exam preparation … and traditional CEU educational seminars.

    IOW: We track these tests very carefully. This is NOT cheating, but sophisticated e-data gathering using internet spider-bot searches, post-testing decompression with human reportage, and proprietary digital algorithms and coding, etc [a modified decision-support tool].

    So, rest assured, you have arguably the best [and only] preparation tool specifically designed for the surgical re-certification test available on the market. That is why we have been so successful for almost 20 years, and why we have a product backed “guarantee-to-pass.”

    Welcome to the modern Health 2.0 era of test preparation! And, thank you again for allowing us to clear up this confusion. Please feel free to send in your CV and potentially join us!

    Link: https://podiatryprep.wordpress.com/want-to-join-us/

    We appreciate your support … and continued positive comments and referrals!

    Ann Miller; RN, MHA
    [Executive-Director]


  5. Hello Doctor G.

    Yes, our product backed “guarantee-to-pass” is valid for all CD-ROM products, interactive tools and study guides unless otherwise noted.

    So, you may order and study with confidence. Proof of failure required.

    Ann Miller; RN, MHA
    [Executive-Director]


  6. I want to buy your product for my grand-daughter, but don’t know which one? And, are you reputable?

    Nana Woodcox


  7. Hi Nana

    We have been in business for 18 years and created this industry sector. Please see above and ask your grand-daughter to call us.
    We can help!

    PS: Hi again, Nana.
    Got it … one unit ABPS QAs CD will be shipped immediately.

    PPS: Nana. Many thanks for the follow-up phone call.
    We are pleased your grand-daughter received her software and … “loves it.” Good luck to her on the test.

    Thanks.
    Ann Miller; RN, MHA
    [Executive-Director]


  8. Good Afternoon,

    Can you give me the update on status of the software order for Dr. Marco A. Vargas; DPM?

    Thank you.

    Priscilla Dimas
    Office Manager
    Foot & Ankle Associates
    281.313.0090
    281.754.4688- fax
    http://www.thefootpros.com


  9. Priscilla,

    It has been shipped “Priority Air Mail”
    Thanks.

    Ann Miller; RN, MHA
    [Executive-Director]


  10. Wa … Wa … Wa

    I thought I would get my money back if I failed my test. Them, I was told, NO. What’s up with that?

    Disgruntled DPM

    ************************************

    Dear Disgruntled DPM,

    We are sorry your failed. And yes – You are … “guaranteed to pass” … with PodiatryPrep.com.

    NOTE: Proof of failure required with documented 120 hours of preparation. “Product update” guarantee only. No monetary refunds possible. Also noted on home page.

    Please, always be sure to read the directions on your exam. And, do not read into, or assume, anything. Be responsible! Study hard. And, continue good study habits throughout your career.

    Thank you and good luck!

    FARC, INC


  11. I bought 2 programs, installed them and like them. But, I don’t have enough time to study for the test in two weeks. May I return one CD for a refund?

    Jason Waite DPM


  12. Jason.
    Nice try!
    The Management


  13. I have my test this Saturday. I will let you know hopefully when I pass.
    Ruby Maher DPM

    ###

    Good luck, Dr. Maher.
    FARC, Inc Support Team


  14. Dear Dr. R. Paterno,

    Many thanks for your [edited] contact regarding our re-certification study guides. Please allow us to address your three main issues with utmost civility:

    1. The Keystone interactive QAs CD is for first-time test-takers and initial board certification rote memory tests. Our Re-Cert study guides are for deeper experiential psychometric and clinical knowledge probing, as a board certified surgeon. There is a huge difference in the products, as well as tests themselves.

    2. Your impression that “everyone passes” re-certification tests is no longer applicable [if it ever was] as the academic paradigm for health 2.0 has changed both in podiatry, as well as all medical specialties, especially since the Hillary Clinton initiative of 2008.

    https://podiatryprep.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/letterhead-farc-board-certification-need.pdf

    3. Finally, our “product-backed guarantee” is a very popular feature and just another reason why we are so successful in helping all our clients, customers and colleagues pass the board certification tests we track. The popularity of CD customizaton is growing, too!

    Thus, rest assured, DPMs are “guaranteed” to pass, but must use the correct program for said “guarantee” to remain in force. The purchase of ancillary products, either ala carte’ or as an integrated suite of 2 or 3 other CDs, while recommended in most cases; is not mandatory.

    Many thanks for allowing us to update you regarding FARC Inc testing psychometrics modernity, for 2012, and beyond. Good luck!

    Your colleagues at FARC, Inc.

    Fraternally,
    TEAM SUPPORT
    http://www.PodiatryPrep.com


  15. Dr. A. Schapiro,

    You will be delighted to learn that you have the correct study-guide product for ALL your SURGERY re-certification examinations. Please see above post, and this blog, for more info.

    Fraternally,
    TEAM SUPPORT
    http://www.PodiatryPrep.com


  16. Very Comprehensive

    These programs are way too comprehensive and long for a quick board review study guide product. Why don’t you make them shorter?

    A Confused DPM

    ###

    Dear Confused DPM

    Thanks for your comment. We don’t produce “quick” review products, but we do make thorough comprehensive products that “guarantee” your success. So, go elsewhere for a “quickie”. Please allow us to explain further.

    Planning When and How-Long to Study for your Test

    As you prepare for your test, you want to make sure that you start soon enough. Knowing when to begin your preparation process is critical to having enough time to prepare, without feeling rushed. Adequate preparation time has become increasingly important as test takers lives are increasingly rushed and often feel as though they don’t have enough time to prepare for their test. We recommend 120 hours for each study guide.

    But, the amount of time that is necessary to prepare depends on the individual, as well as the score the test taker hopes to achieve. If you are a quick learner, then you won’t need to spend as much time preparing as someone that absorbs material and concepts at a lower rate. If you don’t need a very high score in order to accomplish your goals, then you also won’t need to spend much time preparing.

    However, if you want a high score for “academic swagger”, then it will require additional study time.

    PodiatryPrep


    • Dear Confused DPM

      Here are some more tips:

      Review Our Sample Questions:

      Trying out sample questions can help you become a better test-taker by learning strategies to increase your odds of selecting the correct answer. About 50% of residents taking the board examinations today use our tools; and we are growing.

      Note: Institutional Interactive QAs require PCs running Windows XP only. Apple Inc., Mac computers running with a conversion utility bridge required.

      Note: All study guides are compatible for both MACs and PCs [any OS] under the free Adobe Acrobat reader platform.

      Review Our Study Guides:

      Before the test, or near the end of residency training, our board review study guides can help solidify what you have learned during training. Do not deceive yourself into believing that a typical CEU seminar, or one-time board review course will make up for a lack of consistent and steady study habits.

      Rather, our study guides “tie things together” and give a sense of confidence regarding preparedness for the examinations. We offer a number of board review study guides on CD-ROM.

      Other Tips:

      • When starting the exam, determine the number of questions and the amount of time available. Calculate how many should be answered by halfway through the time exam. Typically, you will need to answer a question every one or two minutes.

      • Read the stem (the clinical vignette) carefully. Pick out the pertinent parts of the stem that will help you select the correct diagnosis.

      • Pick the obviously correct answer. Beware, trick questions or “psychological stressor questions”.

      • Consider race, sex, and age when selecting the answer.

      • If you don’t know the answer to a question, make your best guess and move on.

      • Don’t change the answers to questions unless you have made an obvious mistake; first impressions are generally the correct impressions.

      Our products were designed to work best as an integrated 2 CD educational suite [interactive QAs and library study guides – combined]. That is why our “guarantee” to pass is so popular.

      However, they may be purchased separately for your convenience.

      Good Luck.

      Gene Schmuckler PhD MBA MEd
      [FARC Inc – Chief Psychometrist]


  17. Copyright FAQs

    Q. What are the copyright restrictions on the use of your images and content?

    A. All our products and all images within the products are protected by copyright. The products and images can only be used for private educational purposes, unless a specific license is purchased for any other usage. You cannot upload our content or photos to any other website/blogsite without prior permission from us. And, all CDs contain embedded RFID tags to prevent abuse. U may redact X2.

    Contact us for more information.

    Q. What does single user license mean?

    A. All our CD-ROMs are sold on a single user license basis. This means they are licensed for one individual only.

    They cannot be shared/used by more than one individual, copied or installed on a network server. We do offer group/multi user licensing packages – please contact us for details.

    FARC, Inc
    [Legal Department]


  18. To FARC offices

    This is ridiculous ! No one answers phone … Where’s my damn package that I paid extra for? What kind of BS scam are you running.

    Sent from my iPhone

    Ross Feinman DPM
    KH, MI 48320

    ###

    On Apr 2, 2012, at 11:17 AM, FARC Inc offices

    Your ABPS [SX Version] Study Guide has been shipped as ordered [one unit].

    Dear Dr. Feinman,

    Thank you for calling FARC Inc pre-hours technical support for podiatryprep.com We understand your concern and will try to provide you with the relevant information for success.

    Your courteous and polite message was received. And, you will be delighted to know that your order has been shipped by courrier driven priority air-mail.

    Please be patient during the weekend, spring-break, Easter and Passover holidays, for 2012.

    For your convenience, our email support staff is usually available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you have additional questions, concerns or need further assistance, please be sure not to change the subject line so that we can urgently address any remaining concerns.

    You may be selected to receive a survey. Your feedback is valuable to us and we are very interested in hearing about your support experience. Should you receive a survey, we appreciate you taking the time to respond.

    Have a pleasant day ahead and week.
    Your colleagues.

    FARC Inc


  19. No transparency

    Our board exams lack transparency. The
    students will never know their raw scores or how
    they really performed on an exam. The exam does
    not follow the content published by the APMLE.
    Furthermore, the exam is written with emphasis
    on non-relevant materials. I challenge the APMLE
    to fully release the last three exams with the
    raw scores.

    Most self-respecting doctors will agree that the
    exam is a poorly written exam that does not
    measure competency.

    Give us a choice or pay for our student loans!
    If we default, we will destroy the reputation of
    the profession. There is nothing wrong with
    being a routine care podiatrist …..

    Unmatched Podiatric Graduate


  20. Very pleased!

    I wish I would have ordered your study guide sooner.

    Dr. Zafar


  21. After finally looking thru the content you have sent me I am extremely disappointed in what I received.

    Where are the written questions with testing tips? I only received the study guide. Where are updated questions? Am I missing something here?

    Please contact me ASAP.

    Sincerely,
    Dr. Peter S.
    [Sent from my iPad]

    ********************************************************

    Hi Doctor Peter S.,

    Many thanks for your contact. We know this is an anxious time for you and we appreciate your concern.

    So, you will be thrilled to know that after careful RFID tag review, it appears that you have received all the correct Re-Certification study guide content files in 10 e-mail transmissions; with test wise-ness “tips and pearls” [77 pages called “pass-points”], and dual-styled questions. Feel free to read all from your PC, or print out selected pages, or create individualized self-study file folders after personal S.W.O.T. analysis. There is NO time bomb.

    But, realize all files may not be viewable on all hardware devices; only those that read .pdf files, MSFT SkyDrive files and MSFT slide show viewers [most all PCs; but not all smart phones]. So, please verify the ten transmissions. And, we do note that you passed a prior compatibility test.

    Also, please do not confuse the new Re-Certification [aka hybrid, aka oral/written, aka CBT/CPC styled] test questions – with first timer test questions. This is the difference between new-wave cognitive experiential RE-CERT questions, versus first time original qualification / certification rote memory questions. Yet, you do have both representative styles for comparison.

    Here are some more study tips:

    • When starting the exam, determine the number of questions and the amount of time available. Calculate how many should be answered by halfway through the time exam. Typically, you will need to answer a question every minute.

    • Read the stem (the clinical vignette) carefully. Pick out the pertinent parts of the stem that will help you select the correct diagnosis.

    • Pick the obviously correct answer. Beware, the trick questions or “psychological stressor questions”.

    • Consider race, sex, and age when selecting the answer.

    • If you don’t know the answer to a question, make your best guess and move on.

    • Don’t change the answers to questions unless you have made an obvious mistake; first impressions are generally the correct impressions.

    • Brush up on typing and keyboarding skills as written paragraphs, prose or verbiage responses may soon be required. Brush up on basic computer skills, as well.

    Be Aware of “Wrong” Stressor Questions

    You may also see several so-called “wrong” questions, on the real test, by-design. These are called psychological “stressor questions” that are used to evoke fear, uncertainty, doubt and emotional volatility; and most importantly to waste valuable in-situ test TIME. This psychometric design makes the test more DIFFICULT to pass [see attached].

    Finally, rest assured this is NOT cheating; and you will do fine if you study for 120 hours.

    You have the only preparation tool specifically designed for the surgical re-certification test available. Welcome to the modern Health 2.0 era of test preparation! We appreciate your support … and continued positive comments and referrals!

    Of course, much more information is located on our website and blog. Material is time sensitive and may change without notice.
    You may review it all here:

    http://www.PodiatryPrep.com
    https://podiatryprep.wordpress.com/about/

    Good luck.
    FRATERNALLY,
    PodiatyPrep.com


  22. Podiatry Logging Service HIPAA Violation?

    Good luck actually getting a response from ABPS themselves for any information.

    I have been emailing and calling ABPS for months to find out if I have generated enough cases with appropriate diversification to sit for certification for both forefoot and rearfoot. The case table once found on PLS that detailed this information has been gone for almost a year now. So far, I have had a total of ZERO responses to my inquiry.

    Honestly, at this point, I am considering a different certification board. Likewise, several of my colleagues are dealing with this very same issue and getting the same responses!

    Name Withheld


  23. ABPM Complaints

    Bret Ribotsky: It has been a concern that the ABPM (previously APBOPPM) exam seems to test on many historical theories and not on the latest current research when it comes to biomechanics. How does this get fixed?

    Dr. Stephen Albert: My thought is to restart the conversation about what our profession was started upon. While Root biomechanics was the foundation of our understanding, there are other theories that need to be given significant credit. Through my role as president of ACFAOM, I hope that ABPM will continue to evaluate and update the testing information to what should be taught today.

    Editors
    PMNews July 30, 2014 #5,124

    ************************************************

    ABPM Exam Concerns [F/U]

    While I do not wish to escalate nor inflame this matter any further, I would like to comment on the post between Dr. Ribotsky and Dr. Albert.

    Firstly, the question posed by Dr. Ribotsky was framed as a question that makes assumptions and treats them as fact.

    Secondly, I would have assumed if a question related to the ABPM exam process and content would be asked, it would be directed to the Chairperson of the exam committee, or at the very least, to someone ON the examination construction committee.

    The simple fact is that the content and relevance of the examinations generated and administered by ABPM are constantly updated by the committees who produce them.

    Steven Goldman DPM MBA
    [Chairperson-ABPM Certification Examination Committee]


  24. How can I copy this material?
    As you know, RFID tags prevent unauthorized duplication or copying or dissemination. Thank you.
    FARC, Inc


  25. Why PodiatryPrep?

    I bought the document a year ago. I did not pass the exam. I didn’t like the format just providing me so many lectures not a test taking skill.

    JAVA


  26. JAVA,

    It appears the material you referenced is not from us; a common mistake.

    But, you are correct in that all the tests have dramatically changed from rote memory regurgitation to deeper cognitive questions requiring much insight and experience.

    So, feel free to order a customized version from us [Questions, Answers, Test-Taking Tips & Pearls, and Content]. Then study hard [120 hours is recommended].

    Good luck.
    FARC Business Office



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