Med-Challenger vs. BoardVitals – Emergency Medicine Board Review Comparison

Kelly SeagravesEmergency Medicine, Emergency Medicine Comparisons, Personal Education

Med-Challenger vs BoardVitals Emergency Medicine Board Review Comparison

Med-Challenger vs. BoardVitals: Emergency Medicine Board Review Comparison

Emergency medicine practitioners looking for ABEM board review products have a slew of online review options today. Knowing which products offer the best EM board review is a topic of interest. In this article, we’ll compare EM board reviews products from Med-Challenger and BoardVitals on the following criteria: content value, CME value, and lasting benefits.

Content Value

  • Content Scope
  • Content Components
  • Content Quality

Content has to hit all the right subject areas in the right amounts, be up-to-date, provide solid study value, and be of high-quality.

Content Scope

“Content scope” refers to content coverage, how well subject matter is addressed, and how many topics or questions are available.

According to their respective websites, Med-Challenger and BoardVitals both cover the ABEM board exam blueprint, however there is quite a difference in the amount of content provided.

Question Count


Content Components

“Content components” refers to elements within the content that enrich the learning process, such as image banks and various other forms of media.

While both Med-Challenger and BoardVitals furnish their respective Emergency Medicine board reviews with image-based questions, a key part of board exams, Med-Challenger takes it a step further by providing a broader spectrum of media, including rhythm strips, ultrasounds, X-rays, ECGs, and other high-resolution medical imagery. Additionally, Med-Challenger provides Media Banks in a searchable topic-based format which provides additional reference and training uses.

Content Quality

Both Med-Challenger and BoardVitals offer Q&A ultimately guided, written, and edited by board-certified emergency physicians. Content quality relies on several other factors such as original content and speed of revision.

Both Med-Challenger and BoardVitals tout a large editorial authorship of emergency medicine experts. A key difference here is BoardVitals uses content from other published works, meaning BoardVitals content is not actually its own or new. It also means their content updates are bound to the release schedule of a textbook publisher. Med-Challenger creates its own content via a peer-review system of content creation, thus Med-Challenger questions are unique and are adapted more rapidly to changes in medicine and requirements. In addition, due to the craftsman-like Q&A production cycle, Med-Challenger’s materials are revised in a much shorter period of time. Thus, you’re less likely to be tripped up by out-of-date content.

Who wins on content value?

Based on its superior question count, adjunct media bank features, errata response time and its peer-reviewed original content, Med-Challenger EM takes the lead.

✓ Med-Challenger


CME Credit Value

  • CME Credit Types
  • CME Credit Amounts
  • MOC / CME Credit Utility

The ability to earn continuing medical education credits while working through a review product is one of the main added values to pass-guaranteed board reviews. The question is – what types of CME are provided, how many credits, and how easy is it?

Credit Types

Both Med-Challenger and BoardVitals offer AMA PRA Category 1 Credits. However, Med-Challenger distinguishes itself by also offering ACEP Category 1 credits. Offerings with multiple CME types are fairly rare. Some review QBanks offer no CME credit at all.

Credit Amounts

CME credits are required by medical specialties every year. Other specialized workplace or state CME requirements also exist. Most physician practitioners need at least 50 hours of AMA Category 1 credits every year (150 total over 3 years). Both BoardVitals and Med-Challenger provide a way for users to earn CME as they study. However, BoardVitals provides only 35 AMA Category 1 credits (not enough) to Med-Challenger’s 275 (more than enough). As for ACEP Category 1 credits, while Med-Challenger offers 30, BoardVitals offers none.

Since CME credit is roughly awarded by time required, that’s likely an indicator that Med-Challenger offers much more content overall when compared to BoardVitals.

AMA PRA Category 1 Credits


ACEP CME Credits


MOC & CME Utility

Both products offer a means of earning and claiming CME. BoardVitals CME process is not as straightforward as Med-Challenger’s CME “claims center”, where users are given more control over claims and CME certificate production. Med-Challenger users can generate custom PDF CME Certificates, clearly listing topic earnings, a benefit when reporting topic-specific CME requirement fulfillment.

A huge distinction between these two board review products is one regarding cost efficiency. In order to earn & claim CME credit via BoardVitals EM Board Review, you must purchase a costly add-on. With Med-Challenger, CME is automatically built-in, easy to accrue, and easy to claim.

Lastly, it’s worth pointing out that Med-Challenger also provides a Pediatric Emergency Medicine Board Review product and LLSA Review Annual Subscription, with full articles of every LLSA active year, time-saving key point article summaries, LLSA exam review questions, and NEW materials each year, providing you with a fast, simple, no-nonsense way to prepare for LLSA exams every year.

Who wins on CME value?

With more CME amounts, longer access, easier-to-use claim tools, and low-cost, on-demand re-use every year – as well as offering more than one type of CME – the clear winner is Med-Challenger EM.

✓ Med-Challenger


Lasting Utility & Ongoing Value

  • Length of Service
  • Annual Requirements (non-Boards uses)
  • Renewal Options & Convenience

Smarter folks think ahead, right? How long does it last? Is there value I can use again and again – after the Boards? What are the real costs? What does it do for my life overall?

Length of Service

As a “boards-only” question set product, BoardVitals access options max-out at 6 months. First, Med-Challenger doubles that. Med-Challenger provides a full year of access with all products.

Months Minimum
Months Max

CME credit value exists in both products as highlighted earlier, with Med-Challenger offering more CME credits, covering annual CME needs for years.

As for renewal, Med-Challenger does something unique. Med-Challenger purchases are one-time only. Med-Challenger offers a low-cost “super-renewal” option where you can renew access to ALL purchases for another full year. If you want BoardVitals again or for longer – you must re-buy at full price.

  • Med-Challenger

    Renewal Option – Yes
    Annual MOC/CME value – Yes
    Renews – All product purchases
    Single fee of $199 / year

  • BoardVitals

    Renewal Option – No
    Annual MOC/CME value – No
    Renews – n/a
    Must re-buy at full price.

Who wins on lasting utility & ongoing value?

BoardVitals is more of a question bank with a CME option on-top. Duration of use and ongoing value stop short of any lasting benefit. Med-Challenger’s product is priced higher, but it provides everything for Boards – and beyond. Due to Med-Challenger’s low-cost “super-renewal,” over time, the cost of Med-Challenger is actually far less than BoardVitals, and gives you a systemic way to maintain knowledge quality, multiple career requirements, and save time annually throughout your career. Winner Med-Challenger.

✓ Med-Challenger


Final Verdict

Based on this comparison weighing Med-Challenger and BoardVitals
it’s clear…

The best choice for EM Board Review is
Med-Challenger EM

Value Bundle Available
Med-Challenger EM, PEM and Annual LLSAs and more are included in Med-Challenger’s EM PRO value bundle. Get everything your EM practice requires in a one-time purchase. Renew your access and career convenience annually for less than $200 a year (less than $17/mo.). Don’t worry, scramble, or buy at regular price every again! Renew your Med-Challenger account.

Study with the best.

If you’d like to learn more about Med-Challenger EM, start a full free trial, or purchase, please follow the links below.

No-risk, full free trial available.

The most-trusted EM review.
The most Q&A.
One-time purchase.
One full year of use.
Renew for MOC/CME needs for pennies/yr.
No more re-buys.
It’s that easy with Med-Challenger.

Try Med-Challenger EM today!

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