Studying for the RITE

Every February, neurology residents around the country dust off their #2 pencils in preparation for that worst of exams: the RITE. The Residency In-service Training Exam is a brutal, 8 hr scantron affair covering ALL OF NEUROLOGY. I’ve taken a lot of exams in my day; the RITE is the worst. Maybe it’s the 500+ questions written by attendings who want to show off their smarts and lack of real-world knowledge. Maybe it’s the “pictures” so blurry they must have been printed on a dot-matrix, then mimeographed several times, before being hand-copied by a horde of Egyptian scribes.

But because I don’t want my program director to realize how dumb I am, I’ve spent the last two weeks looking through old exam “discussion manuals” (i.e. answer keys; they reuse the questions) and review guides prepped by prior residents. The reviews are pretty amazing, like this gem from 2013:

2016-02-10 10.24.50

Yes, Virginia, dread of cats is a testable topic for neurology residents. And let’s not forget the one question every year that is like “What is the billing code for a 40 minute subsequent encounter? 99132, 99133, 99134, or 99135?” This is high-yield, vital information! Exactly what you NEED to know as a neurologist.

Ugh, back to the books before I fail this sucker.


6 thoughts on “Studying for the RITE

  1. Actually, if you go into private practice(and maybe any practice) the billing codes may be the most useful thing you learn out of the page you copied to your post. Getting paid and being able to keep the doors open is important so unless you are going to be pure academic or direct pay you’ll learn the common codes.
    By the way, 99132, 99133, 99134 do not exist. 99135 is an anesthesia add-on code. You putting any of those down would probably be fraud which is punishable by jail time potentially.

    1. You do understand that this post was hyperbole, right? And that I made up those codes on the spot to emphasize the arbitrary nature of such a question? Copying a RITE exam question, like copying a USMLE question, is disallowed by the test and would invalidate my score potentially.


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