September 2019  · Volume 12, Issue 2
From the Editor
by J. Anthony Seibert, PhD, ABR Governor 


In this issue, ABR President Brent Wagner reports on interactions with the American College of Radiology (ACR) and details of the presentation given to ACR leadership. Executive Director Val Jackson introduces Reed Dunnick, MD, a former trustee and president of the ABR, as the new associate executive director for diagnostic radiology. Updates on Online Longitudinal Assessment (OLA) include information regarding the OLA launch for interventional radiology, radiation oncology, and medical physics in January 2020.

From the board of trustees (BOT), there are reports from Chair Don Flemming about the status of the BOT; Mimi Newell discusses the Diagnostic Radiology Core Exam; Jim Spies provides a focus on the IR/DR Oral Exam process; Elizabeth Oates describes the current status of the ABR 16-month Pathway in nuclear radiology; and I talk about the unique availability of Self-Directed Educational Projects (SDEPs) for medical physicists as a lifelong learning opportunity to fulfill Part 2 of MOC requirements. In the volunteer section, we highlight Keith B. Quencer, MD, and his OLA Committee contributions and experiences.

Starting in November, publication frequency of The BEAM and several formatting and content enhancements will occur. We are embarking on a six-times-per-year schedule instead of three times per year to help us remain more current with important news. We're changing the format and providing a new look to include "read more" links so that readers only see the first paragraph or two of text. Doing so will cut down on how much readers need to scroll through the newsletter. We'll be including short write-ups about people who work for the ABR, so diplomates and candidates can get a better idea of who's here to serve them. The first is on the Certification Services team. We will also have links to our weekly blog that's posted on the website. Stay tuned!

As always, your comments and feedback regarding the current and previous issues are welcome, as are suggestions for future topics. Thanks for reading this issue of The BEAM.
From the President
Diplomate Feedback Bringing Improvements to OLA
by Brent J. Wagner, MD


As we near the end of the first year of Online Longitudinal Assessment ("OLA," the replacement for the "every 10-year exam"), we are reviewing comments made by diplomates to look for ways to improve the program. Unfortunately, what seems like an easily accomplished task in the high-tech world to which we all are accustomed is, in fact, very difficult for a program that is designed to be simple to use but is extremely complicated beneath the surface. As a result, effective implementation of improvements is, by necessity, a slow process. This piece outlines some of the enhancements we anticipate implementing later this year or in 2020.

Many OLA participants have asked, quite reasonably, for an indication of their performance thus far. Because of the inherent nature of the instrument, this is a significant challenge. ABR assessments, including OLA as well as the Core and Certifying exams, are criterion-referenced, and hence it is not possible to establish a valid passing score a priori (e.g., 75 percent correct). Instead, each question is individually assigned a level of difficulty (in OLA, this determination is made by voluntary input from participants). Additionally, psychometric validity requires a large sample size (approximately 200 questions), which requires at least two years to accomplish. Offering an estimate of performance before achieving a reasonable level of statistical confidence would potentially introduce undue anxiety or, alternatively, falsely increase an individual's confidence. Despite these limitations, we are working to provide preliminary feedback that will tell an individual participant where they stand relative to the standard based on the difficulty level of their questions in aggregate. We hope to have this available later this year or early next year.

In 2020, we will be extending the time allowed to answer the more complex of the image-based questions to three minutes. Although most of the nearly one million responses thus far have been completed in much less than a minute, the assessment was never intended to test a radiologist's speed, and many questions require a thoughtful consideration of the options.

Also in 2020, because OLA is an assessment that includes feedback to the individual, participation at the level required will count toward the Part 2 requirement for self-assessment CME (SA-CME). D iplomates who meet their annual progress requirement within the previous calendar year will see a reduction in their SA-CME obligations from 25 to 15 over a three-year period when they make their attestations.

Lastly, we anticipate the addition of Emergency Radiology as an OLA clinical practice area. This is being facilitated by experts in emergency and trauma imaging. When implemented in early 2020, participants will be able to select this as all or part of their OLA practice profile.

In addition to the above, we continue to consider enhancements to this program as it evolves, and we sincerely welcome your suggestions. Please contact us at to provide feedback.
From the Executive Director
Longtime Volunteer Brings Expertise to AED Position
by Valerie P. Jackson, MD


It's my pleasure to announce that Dr. N. Reed Dunnick is continuing his work with the ABR by becoming our associate executive director (AED) for diagnostic radiology.

Reed will be the staff liaison for the DR trustees. The four AEDs, including those for interventional radiology, medical physics, and radiation oncology, work part-time for us. AEDs are valuable employees; as our activities have grown, the executive director has needed the assistance of these specialty-specific individuals.

Reed is the consummate volunteer, a diplomate who has assisted us in roles ranging from question-writing committee member to board president. He's made significant contributions to many other organizations, serving as president of the Society of Uroradiology, the Society of Computed Body Tomography/Magnetic Resonance, the American Roentgen Ray Society, the Michigan Radiological Society, the Association of University Radiologists, the Society of Chairmen of Academic Radiology Departments, and the Radiological Society of North America.

He's more than an impressive CV; he's an involved member on every board and committee on which he serves. It's one of the many reasons he'll be an excellent associate executive director.

I've worked for Reed for a little more than 20 years and have found that he has a wonderful sense of humor. While he's always a professional, he also knows how to enjoy himself.

Please join me in congratulating Reed. He's the perfect person to work with our DR diplomates and we look forward to having him on staff.

Want to become a volunteer? Please take a few minutes to fill out our application.

Q&A with Dr. N. Reed Dunnick

Over the summer, N. Reed Dunnick, MD, was named one of the American Board of Radiology's associate executive directors. In his new role, Dr. Dunnick serves as the staff liaison for ABR diagnostic radiology trustees.

Dr. Dunnick served as the University of Michigan's Fred Jenner Hodges Professor and Chair of the Department of Radiology for 26 years before stepping down and accepting the position as Editor-in-Chief of Academic Radiology.

An ABR volunteer for 29 years, Dr. Dunnick recently took time to answer a few questions about his new role and why it's vital to give back to the field.

What prompted you to get involved as an ABR volunteer?
The mission of the ABR is an important one, as it helps to elevate the quality of radiology practice. The ABR exams have a tremendous effect on resident learning. (If we test it, they will learn it.)

How much of a difference can one person make as part of an ABR committee?
Each individual has an important role to play in ABR committee work. As a result of the different training programs and experiences, the individuals add diversity, and these diverse committees deliver a better product than if any one person did it.

What will you be doing as an associate executive director?
I will provide input as a "user" to help make the ABR processes more efficient and user friendly. Having had experience in medical center leadership, I can appreciate the value of board certification and Maintenance of Certification to the quality of care delivered.

What are your immediate priorities?
Making the ABR processes more efficient and helping to hold down the costs for our candidates and diplomates.

Why is board certification so important as a means of serving the public?
The process of board certification encourages learning and includes professionalism. Thus, diplomates are better able to deliver high-quality patient care. Board certification also helps patients decide whom they would like to consult for their care.
OLA Coming Next Year for IR, MP, and RO Diplomates

A new and convenient way to satisfy MOC Part 3 is coming next year for interventional radiology, medical physics, and radiation oncology diplomates. Online Longitudinal Assessment (OLA) , which rolled out for diagnostic radiology diplomates this year, starts for the other three disciplines on January 6, 2020.

OLA's prelaunch period starts November 4, giving diplomates the opportunity to gain familiarity with the system before it goes live. Our staff has attended numerous association and society meetings this year to perform hands-on demonstrations for attendees. Look for our booth at the RSNA Annual Meeting December 1-6 in Chicago.

OLA replaces the proctored 10-year MOC exam. Participants receive two question opportunities per week and most only need to answer 52 a year in order to meet their annual progress requirement. OLA is a continuous assessment; participants stay involved with the program throughout their careers unless they choose to take the traditional exam every five years instead. Those who decide to skip OLA and take the traditional exam should contact us at so that we can remove them from future OLA communications.

Diagnostic radiology diplomates who meet their annual requirement before the end of the year can either continue participating or take a break and resume next year. Those who continue will reach the 200-question OLA performance evaluation threshold faster.

The OLA web page includes a robust FAQs section . There's also a video and recorded webinar on our YouTube page. For more information on OLA or anything related to certification, please contact us at .

Focus on Diagnostic Radiology
Thoughts on the Recent Core Exam
by Mary S. Newell, MD, ABR Trustee

When the recent ABR Diagnostic Radiology Core Exam results showed a rise in the failure rate for the second year in a row, passionate dialogue again surfaced about the wisdom and validity of the current ABR testing paradigm. Some people defended the process; others voiced condemnation and a yearning for the return of the oral exam.

In thinking about it, I began to wonder if these critics yearn for the oral exam itself, or are they channeling this realization: that the day we all sat for our orals boards was the day we knew more radiology than any day before that, and most likely, any day after it. We knew radiology (all of it!) in a deep, highly integrated, organized way. We knew its overarching concepts and the facts that supported those concepts. And we could articulate that knowledge in detailed and nuanced responses, even when thrown a minor curveball by the examiner ("what if I now told you this. . .?").

I wonder if what people are really expressing when they ask for a shift in exam paradigm is a longing for our trainees to learn radiology, to prepare for practice, and to swallow the specialty whole as they did in the era of the oral boards.
From my observations and those of others, residents may not be learning radiology in this way any longer. We have all heard of "teaching to the test." It is possible that residents are "learning to the test." They may be trying to absorb sets of random facts rather than gaining exhaustive knowledge; or using study guides instead of reading more detailed, knowledge-rich resources that result in deep understanding. This is only natural. We all remember the anxiety engendered by the many high-stakes exams we have prepared for throughout our careers. They want to pass! But by preparing in this manner, are they, counter-intuitively, not actually learning the material that would more readily ensure a passing score?

The debate about the best ways to assess minimal competency will continue, as it should. But in the meantime, should we who are involved with resident (and fellow) education try to re-steer how our trainees are learning radiology? Shouldn't we stress the long game to them, and remind them that they are accumulating knowledge ultimately for the benefit of their patients; that we expect them to read deeply and widely and early in their training toward this end; that they need to master the whole discipline; that we will expect them to discuss cases cogently when we press them in the reading room; that while didactic conferences are important, we will also give "hot seat" case conferences to simulate not the oral boards, but the daily life as a radiologist?
Of course, many programs and educators do just this with great passion and success. I suspect that the residents who partake when this rigor is offered are the ones who continue to pass the Core Exam.
Focus on Interventional Radiology/Diagnostic Radiology
The IR/DR Certifying Exam: New and Improved
by James B. Spies, MD, MPH, ABR Trustee


As we enter the third administration of the new IR/DR Certifying Exam, it may be a good time to review the exam structure, how it differs from the oral exams previously administered for diagnostic radiology and for the subspecialty certificate in vascular and interventional radiology, and the options for candidates. While many features may on the surface seem similar to earlier exams, there are important changes to ensure a more reliable and fair assessment of candidates.
The oral exam created for IR/DR certification is similar in format to older oral exams with direct examination of the candidate by a single examiner in each section. In this case, the exam is divided into four sections, each lasting 25 to 30 minutes:
  1. Arterial and venous interventions
  2. Interventional oncology and interventions in the pancreas, biliary system, and genitourinary system
  3. Core interventional (biopsy, drainage, venous access, enteral access, foreign body retrieval), as well as portal hypertension, MSK, lymphatics, pain management, and pulmonary artery interventions.
  4. Imaging in IR
This exam is designed to overcome some of the potential variability in both the content and the acceptable responses that oral exams might otherwise be subject to. A template is used for each case and reviewed by the oral exam committee, which edits the content for consensus and delineation of key responses to each element. The template includes review of clinical information, imaging and laboratory diagnosis, intervention options, technical considerations for the interventions, potential complications, and follow-up. The case structure is designed to present the examinee with a scenario extending from initial consultation through decision-making, treatment, complication management, and necessary ongoing clinical care: in short - the clinical management of a condition, rather than just images and procedures. The emphasis in individual cases may vary, but in each the examiner is provided the key points that the examinee is expected to know and discuss. This template is not rigid, but the key points are an important component to ensure each candidate is assessed on the same criteria and that each examiner has similar expectations of each candidate. This ensures a more uniform and objective assessment of the candidate.
Currently, we are still in the midst of transitioning from the examination of fellows in interventional radiology to the examination of graduates of the new IR residency. For those completing fellowship, there are still two options:
  1. The candidate may take the diagnostic radiology Certifying Exam in the fall after completion of fellowship and then take the IR/DR Certifying Exam (oral component only) 15 months after fellowship.

  2. The candidate may wait 15 months after completing fellowship to take the full IR/DR Certifying Exam in one sitting. This exam is comprised of two computer-based modules (one module of essentials of diagnostic radiology and one module of interventional radiology), and the oral component, which is a half-day face-to-face exam with four sections.
Both paths lead to the same IR/DR certification and it is the candidate's choice, recognizing that there will be additional travel cost if dividing the exam into two parts.
The window for applications for the fall 2020 exam for either the oral only or the full IR/DR Certifying Exam is November 1, 2019 to February 28, 2020. Those who are certified in diagnostic radiology and completed training in interventional radiology, but have not yet been certified in interventional radiology can become IR/DR certified by passing the oral component of the IR/DR Certifying Exam.

Currently, a temporary pathway remains open for those who completed an ACGME- or RCPSC-accredited VIR fellowship more than 10 years ago, never obtained vascular interventional subspecialty certification, and who wish to become IR/DR certified. For more information, see the IR/DR Transition Pathway page on the ABR website. Applications for this pathway will be accepted until February 28, 2020, with the application window opening on November 1, 2019.
16-Month Pathway in Nuclear Radiology
by ABR Trustee M. Elizabeth Oates, MD, FAAWR, FACR
The purpose of this column is to update diplomates and candidates on the status of the redesigned ABR 16-month Pathway in Nuclear Radiology (NR). Graduates of this Pathway are eligible for primary certification in diagnostic radiology (DR) or interventional radiology/diagnostic radiology (IR/DR) and subspecialty certification in NR. The Pathway was developed to meet the increasing demand for subspecialty trained expertise in NR in academic and community practices, triggered by the introduction of new diagnostic and therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals and emerging hybrid technologies.
Board Certification
The traditional method for becoming eligible for NR subspecialty certification is to complete a one-year fellowship in an ACGME-accredited NR or Nuclear Medicine (NM) program after successful graduation from residency training in DR or IR. The ABR 16-month Pathway in NR leverages elective time so that candidates can gain eligibility for both primary and subspecialty certification during the standard years of residency training.
NR Pathway
The original Pathway was introduced in 2010; the redesigned Pathway formally went in effect on July 1, 2017. Its key components are summarized in Table 1.
Table 1. Key Components of ABR 16-Month NR Pathway

Any ACGME-accredited DR- or IR-Integrated program
16 Months during 4-year DR or 5-year IR Residency:
  • 4 core NR/NM months
  • 8 additional dedicated NR/NM months
  • 4 NR/NM/Molecular Imaging (MI)-related months  
  • Up to 2 pre-R1 NR/NM months may be counted
  • Flexible scheduling throughout residency
Hybrid modalities: PET/CT and SPECT/CT mandatory
NRC: 700 hours (including 200 hours classroom/laboratory to meet §35.390)
Therapies: Oral 131I NaI (10 low + 5 high); 5 parenteral ( 90Y microspheres not applicable)

Enrollment Process
Enrollment is on a rolling basis; there is no annual timeline. To enroll, each individual resident must complete a short application form. The application must be supported by an accompanying Sponsoring Department Agreement (SDA) that requires signatures of the residency program director as well as the NR/NM preceptor who both attest to their commitment to the resident's training in accordance with the Pathway requirements. The forms are available at the links above.
As referenced in Table 1, the NR/NM/MI-related clinical experiences are flexible and resident/program-specific. In the application, the program describes a detailed plan for providing the participating resident with the requisite training. Popular NR-related rotation choices have included abdominal/body radiology, cardiovascular radiology, interventional radiology, musculoskeletal radiology, neuroradiology, and thoracic radiology. Notably, some residents have opted for more months of dedicated NR/NM rather than related disciplines.

Status Report
Between November 14, 2017 and August 29, 2019, 43 programs (Table 2) have enrolled a total of 75 (74 DR, 1 IR) residents. Twenty-six programs have one enrollee, five have two, nine have three, and three programs have four. Twenty-three programs (53 percent) do not have a companion ACGME-accredited NR or NM program at their institution.

The first cohort of 14 residents graduated in 2018; they are eligible to sit for primary DR certification in fall 2019 and, if certified, will be eligible to sit for NR subspecialty certification in fall 2020. The second cohort of 20 residents graduated in June 2019; the third cohort of 21 will graduate in 2020; the fourth cohort of 17 in 2021; and the fifth cohort of three in 2022.

It is anticipated that residents will continue to be enrolled on a rolling basis, and these numbers will change over time.

Table 2. Programs Participating in ABR 16-Month NR Pathway* 
Baylor University
Brigham & Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School
Bryn Mawr Hospital
Case Western Reserve/University Hospital of Cleveland
Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Drexel University/Hahnemann University Hospital
Duke University
Georgetown University
Hartford Hospital
Indiana University
Loma Linda University
Louisiana State University (Shreveport)
Loyola Univeristy
Mallinckrodt Institute/Washington University
Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School
Mayo Clinic College of Medicine (Arizona)
Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education (Jacksonville)
Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education (Rochester)
Medical College of Wisconsin
Medical University of South Carolina
Mount Auburn Hospital
Mount Sinai Medical Center of Florida
New York Presbyterian Hospital (Columbia)
Ochsner Clinic Foundation
Pennsylvania Hospital of University of Pennsylvania
Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Saint Vincent's Medical Center
Staten Island University Hospital
SUNY Downstate Medical Center (Brooklyn)
SUNY Upstate Medical University (Syracuse)
University of Alabama (Birmingham)
University of Arizona
University of California (San Diego)
University of California (San Francisco)
University of Kentucky
University of Maryland
University of Michigan
University of Pennsylvania
University of Tennessee (Knoxville)
University of Vermont
University of Wisconsin
Wake Forest University
West Virginia University
*as of August 29, 2019
Future Aspirations
The ABR will track the progress of these Pathway participants to determine how many achieve ABR-NR certification and/or American Board of Nuclear Medicine (ABNM) certification. 

We anticipate that graduates of this Pathway will become practice and academic leaders in this emerging field to the benefit of radiology, medicine, patients, and society.
Self-directed Educational Projects (SDEPs):
A Lifelong Learning Opportunity Unique to Medical Physics

by J. Anthony Seibert, PhD, ABR Governor 

Part 2: Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment

The SDEP is a way for physicists to fulfill their MOC requirements for Part 2: Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment. It is, in many ways, an ideal method to demonstrate lifelong learning. As physicists, we frequently encounter situations where we must learn new things to practice effectively. The list of possibilities is endless, but some examples might be:
  • Incorporating a new type of accelerator or imaging device into your practice
  • Adopting methodologies from a new AAPM report
  • Providing a shielding design for a new PET scanner
The ABR website gives a more generalized list that is not intended to be limiting.
  • Quality improvement
  • Research projects
  • Publication of original research
  • New lecture development
  • Regulatory issue review
  • Educational topics
  • Technology updates
  • New protocol implementation 
As professionals, when faced with a new situation, we usually follow these steps:
  • Determine our educational needs
  • Determine how we will become more knowledgeable
    • Books, journal articles, AAPM, ACR, ICRP, NCRP, IAEA documents, etc.
    • Online materials
    • Vendor-supported training
    • Attendance at meetings
    • Discussing the issue with knowledgeable colleagues
  • Set up criteria about how we will organize the material, accomplish the project, and evaluate our work.
This is truly lifelong learning and it focuses on our real needs as practicing medical physicists.
To change the above into an SDEP we need only document the following phases:
  1. Significance: a statement of the educational need
  2. Approach: a list of activities designated to address the need
  3. Evaluation of achievement, with an initial prospective statement and a final summary statement at the time of completion
  4. Impact on practice/outcome statement, with an initial prospective statement and a final summary statement at the time of completion 
All four phases must be prospective, and physicists have informally reported that doing this prospectively clarified their thinking and made the overall process easier.
Of the four phases, the first three conform to the way we approach all our activities. Some diplomates seem puzzled by phase four, which does not have to be elaborate. The point is to craft a short statement as to how the SDEP changed the practice. Remember: all ABR PQI projects and SDEPs are "best effort." You would never be cited for projects or SDEPs that did not work out as well as expected as long as you made a best effort. Here is a template for an SDEP.

When you have completed your SDEP you should keep the documentation in case you are audited. Otherwise, you do not have to submit the documentation to the ABR.
An important point about SDEPs is that since they are evaluated lifelong learning, you can claim up to 15 hours of enduring SA-CE. If the SDEP has a quality and safety aspect you can also use it for your Part 4: Improvement in Medical Practice activity for the current three-year period.
SDEPs seem like an ideal way for medical physicists to do effective lifelong learning. If you have not done an SDEP, consider doing so.
Remember: if you have questions, we are here to help you. Contact us at or
Trustee Update
by Donald J. Flemming, MD, ABR Governor


The mission of the Board of Trustees (BOT) is to advance the quality, relevance, and effectiveness of the American Board of Radiology's exams and programs for initial certification and continuous certification across all disciplines of radiology. The BOT is responsible for decisions related to exam goals, format, content, assembly, delivery, scoring, and feedback. All BOT decisions are subject to approval by the Board of Governors (BOG).

The BOT is comprised of ABR diplomates who can be nominated by a trustee or an appropriate professional organization. Most trustees have volunteer experience with the ABR and have demonstrated commitment and strong leadership skills while serving on committees. Each  discipline--diagnostic radiology, interventional radiology, radiation oncology, and medical physics--is represented. Term limits are three years and a trustee may serve a maximum of two terms. Each discipline is led by an elected vice chair and the BOT is chaired by a member who also serves on the BOG.

The BOT's main focus over the past two years has been developing processes and content related to Online Longitudinal Assessment (OLA). This new assessment paradigm was offered to diagnostic radiology diplomates starting in January 2019. Many lessons have been learned during the development and eventual rollout of OLA. Identified best practices have been discussed and shared with BOT membership to enhance the experience for all ABR diplomates. The importance of offering adequate time and developing appropriate content that meets the standard of "walking-around knowledge" has been emphasized to enhance the initial experience of radiation oncology, medical physics, and interventional radiology diplomates who will be offered OLA for continuous certification starting in January 2020.

In addition to OLA, the main focus of the BOT over the past years has been on improving the ABR volunteer experience and standardizing content development processes across all disciplines. The ABR cannot function without the tremendous effort of more than 1,200 volunteers per year, devoting their time and expertise on developing level-appropriate content for both initial and continuous certification exams. Improvements in communication, feedback, and software interfaces are being discussed and implemented so that the BOT may complete its mission of producing the best possible exams while remaining cost conscious and mindful of volunteer time and effort.
Spotlight on an OLA Volunteer

Dr. Quencer and family hiking at Dead Horse Point in southern Utah

Some people might not know that radiology is really a central part of the life of Keith B. Quencer, MD, a diagnostic and interventional radiologist from Salt Lake City. Not just because it's his career but because so many of his family members are in the field. His dad is a neuroradiologist at the University of Miami, Florida, and his mom is a retired sonographer. 
Dr. Quencer also married into a family of radiologists. His wife, Claire Kaufman, MD, is an IR and they work together at the University of Utah. She is the education director for their section and he is the associate section chief. Her father is an interventional radiologist at the Dotter Institute in Oregon and her late grandfather was a GI radiologist at Boston University. "We try not to bore the rest of our family members with 'riveting' radiology stories," he said, also joking that his two children (ages 1 and 5) "can become any type of radiologist they want to be!"  
Dr. Quencer has volunteered for the ABR for the last three years as an item writer for the Online Longitudinal Assessment (OLA) IR section. He said that being an ABR volunteer has been a wonderful experience for many reasons.
"For one, it is nice to contribute to a group like the ABR that ensures that patients receive better and safer care," he said. "Being a part of the OLA group itself has been great. This is a new concept and a new paradigm of recertification. Learning about this and being involved in the roll out process has been exciting. Our group is a great mix of people; young and old, private practice and academic, interventional oncology-focused versus more traditional IR. I've had the chance to reconnect with people from the past--like Dr. T. Greg Walker, my former attending physician when I was a resident and a major reason I decided to go into IR. I keep in touch with people I've met or worked with over the years and also get to meet a lot of new IRs from all around the country." 
"Determining 'walking-around knowledge' can be tricky," he says. "When we first started writing questions, there were things I thought that everyone would know, but when it came to group discussion, I was surprised to hear what people think was not walking-around knowledge. The flip side was true as well; questions written by others are things that were totally foreign to me. During our reviews I would be quite frank, saying, 'I wouldn't know that and I'd get that question wrong.' But with time, all of us have been able to determine a little better what walking-around knowledge is. For me, the benchmark of walking-around knowledge is that it cannot be too specialized. The question has to be clinically relevant by virtue of being frequently encountered, or such a significant point that not knowing the fact or diagnosis may lead to serious patient harm." 
Generally being in radiology and in IR specifically has been quite rewarding for Dr. Quencer. "The variety of pathology we see every day and the wide variety of procedures done keeps me on my toes at all times. In this way, IR has exceeded my expectations," he said.
"Being board certified in IR/DR is very meaningful as it shows a high level of skill and knowledge. Passing the ABR exams in residency was no joke and everyone who passes them should be proud. While the OLA questions will not reach that level of difficulty or require the studying, maintaining an ABR certificate in IR/DR will be something of which to continue to be proud."
BOG Member Appointed Department Chair at Columbia and Chief of Radiation Oncology Service at Irving Medical Center


Former ABR President and present Board of Governors member  Lisa Kachnic, MD , started as chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and chief of the radiation oncology service at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center on September 1. She also serves as associate director for cancer network strategy in the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Kachnic is a fellow of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) and is one of the nation's leading radiation oncologists and a pioneer of new approaches to optimize the effectiveness of radiation therapy.

A member of the ABR Board of Governors, Dr. Kachnic is internationally known for her clinical trial leadership positions in the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and its cooperative group research bases. She is widely recognized for gastrointestinal research that has transformed the standard of care for several cancers by integrating novel radiation delivery techniques. She is vice chair of the radiation oncology committee and co-chair of the ano-rectal subcommittee for the SWOG Cancer Research Network research base, where she serves as the multi-modality executive officer. Dr. Kachnic is also the chair of the NRG Oncology (National Surgical Adjuvant Breast & Bowel Project, Radiation Therapy Oncology Group and the Gynecological Oncology Group) NCI Community Oncology Research Program's Cancer Control and Prevention Division, and is involved in NRG Oncology's GI strategic committee.

ABR Trustee M. Victoria Marx, MD, Appointed as President-elect of APDR

Left to right: James C. Anderson, MD; Mary H. Scanlon, MD; Petra J. Lewis, MD; Richard B. Ruchman, MD: Anna Rozenshtein, MD; M. Victoria Marx, MD; Mark E. Mullins, MD, PhD. Not pictured: Angelisa M. Paladin, MD.
M. Victoria Marx, MD has joined the 2019-2020 Board of Directors of the Association of Program Directors in Radiology (APDR) as president-elect.

APDR is an organization of residency and fellowship program directors and coordinators with the common goal of optimizing the educational experience for our trainees. Through an annual meeting, periodic communications, and material on its website, APDR enhances the professional capabilities of its members, provides them with the tools necessary to comply with regulatory requirements of the Residency Review Committee and the American Board of Radiology, and facilitates effective communication with those organizations and others with common interests.

Congratulations, Drs. Kachnic and Marx!
List of Society Attendance

he ABR sponsors a booth at numerous society meetings throughout the year. Printed materials are available, and ABR representatives are in attendance to answer your questions. To see a list of society meetings at which the ABR plans to have a booth in 2019 - 2020, please click here.

Links to Recent ABR Blogs

August 21: 
Sept. 3:  Many Reasons Why IC Exam Rates Might Vary August 13:
August 27: Some OLA Questions Will Offer Extended Response Time in 2020
August 6: 

Thank you. . .


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