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ABR Physics Trustees Statement on the CNN Story About Exam Security

A Message from the ABR

The ABR was approached by CNN, which aired a recent report on the use of recalls in preparing for ABR diagnostic radiology written examinations.  This coverage has stimulated discussion within our community. The ABR regrets that anyone’s impression of radiologists may have been diminished by this report, and expresses concern for any distress caused by CNN’s report. While the ABR has had policies in place for several decades which prohibit the sharing of examination content, the practice of using prior test material as a study guide, as is the case in a variety of educational settings,  has occurred. We stand by the fact that you are well-trained and qualified to practice with skill and safety for the benefit of your patients.  The ABR truly does recognize the years of hard work, diligence, and study signified by the designation of “board certification.”

As to the future,  the Board committed in 2007 to a new certification paradigm in diagnostic radiology by developing  innovative examinations that are image-rich, computer-based, and designed to test knowledge important in daily practice. We recognize that in this new model it is important for our candidates to have study guides and practice tests to prepare for these examinations, and are putting these in place well before the first residents will take the new examinations in October 2013. Enhancements are also being made in the radiation oncology and medical physics examinations.

Our profession’s authority to self-regulate through the board certification process is a privilege granted to us by the public.  That privilege is entirely dependent upon the public’s confidence in the high quality and integrity of our certification decisions. In fulfilling this mission, the board and you, the diplomates, assume a mutual responsibility to maintain the public’s trust in the certification process. Together, we will provide for the continued assurance of professional excellence in Radiology.

The Trustees of the American Board of Radiology