From the Editor

From the Editor

by J. Anthony Seibert, PhD, ABR Governor


The end of the year is upon us – and what a year it has been! Amid another pandemic surge, the ABR is in a good situation by having taken action in June to move from on-site exams to remote exam processes for all disciplines. This was achieved in part by listening to the responses of our stakeholders, candidates, and diplomates to the initial impact of COVID-19 on 2020 exam delays. While there remains a significant effort to prepare for remote exams coming in early 2021, major infrastructure is in place and policies and procedures are being refined. Pilot exams given to select volunteer candidates in the coming month will help us to verify, validate, evaluate, and adjust the exam delivery process as needed. The latest information is available on the ABR website.

In this edition of The Beam

The executive director and secretary-treasurer provide a word about finances, fiduciary responsibilities, and strategic budgeting to support the ABR’s mission.

At the fall board meeting held remotely in October, board transitions and new members were announced. The Board of Governors welcomed Mimi Newell, MD, as its newest member – read about her ABR service and outlook for the organization moving forward. Likewise, the Board of Trustees announced the addition of three diplomates with many years of volunteer service as members: Pamela Propeck, MD; Paul J. Rochon, MD; and Catheryn Yashar, MD. Their backgrounds and statements about their plans as trustees are described in the trustees section.

From the disciplines comes a major focus on Online Longitudinal Assessment (OLA), with reflections on the process, feedback from diplomates, issues related to scoring items, and the new performance metrics that have recently become available. Accompanying these reports is a summary of OLA updates and a description of the new dashboard that debuted in October.

In the New Perspectives column, the activities of the Diagnostic Radiology Initial Certification Advisory Committee (ICAC) illustrate how two-way communication is so important in developing transparent and open dialogue between candidates and the ABR, in particular with the rapidly changing exam delivery process.

The ABR Staff Spotlight features the exam development team, how they are coping with the pandemic, and the pros and cons of working from home. Their efforts are very much appreciated by the many volunteers on exam committees who benefit from their experience and expertise in developing items and assisting in the test assembly process.

I hope you enjoy this issue of The Beam. If you have comments, suggestions, or feedback, please contact me or the editorial staff at or 520-790-2900.

Have a safe and happy holiday season – and see you next year with the February 2021 edition!


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