ABR postpones Core Exam to 2021

Update sent moments ago by email to resident physicians

Lobby at the ABR Exam Center in Chicago. Source: ABR

June 3, 2020, 2pm ET / 1pm CT/ 11am PT

Tucson — In a breathtaking turn of events, the American Board of Radiology (ABR) has decided to further delay the Initial Certification (Core) Exam until 2021, with the exact exam date not otherwise specified. The November 2020 administration of the Core Exam, previously extended from the original May/June 2020 dates, has now been cancelled due to continued concerns about COVID-19.

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The ABR reiterated their position that remote delivery of the Core Exam was not a feasible alternative. The continued delay puts residents at a heightened level of uncertainty in preparing for this high-stakes certification exam, against an already-stressful backdrop of an international epidemic that has caused widespread human suffering and strained radiology practices across the country.

The full text of the email to residents from earlier today is provided below.

— Orbit Staff

From: American Board of Radiology <information@theabr.org>
Sent: Wednesday, June 3, 2020

The ABR has been carefully following all aspects of the global novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic even before it was declared as such by the World Health Organization and is cognizant of the incredible impact the pandemic has had on society in general and all aspects of the health care community, in particular. In response to the public health threat and uncertainty from the virus, the Board has made the decision to postpone until 2021 the Diagnostic Radiology and Interventional Radiology/Diagnostic Radiology (IR/DR) Core exams currently scheduled for November 5–6 and November 9–10, 2020.

We deeply regret any inconvenience this scheduling change may cause, but our primary concern is for the health and well-being of exam candidates, our examiners, our staff, and the public. We recognize the stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on you and your families, as well as the disruption to your exam preparation. We appreciate your patience as we work through the pandemic’s impacts on all ABR processes.

In response to numerous queries, delivery of the Core exam using available remote platforms is not practicable. We have investigated many options, but the inability to adequately control image quality, the testing environment, and security would significantly threaten the fairness, reproducibility, validity, and reliability of the testing instrument across all candidates. We want to give an exam that will accurately reflect the hard work of our candidates on their path to certification. We will continue to evaluate alternative examination processes in the coming months.

We will communicate with you again in the near future to share plans for rescheduling this exam. We will keep you updated on our progress through emails and on the COVID-19 page on our website.

For the most up-to-date information regarding the virus, and how to minimize the risk of infection, please refer to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If you have questions, please contact an ABR certification manager at information@theabr.org or (520) 790–2900.

Thank you,

American Board of Radiology

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