From the Editor

From the Editor

New Year Getting Off to Active Start

by J. Anthony Seibert, PhD, ABR Governor


A new year begins! In this edition of The Beam, President Vince Mathews discusses several Board of Governors’ initiatives intended to strengthen the ABR and provide support for candidates and diplomates during the transition to remote exams, as well as improve Online Longitudinal Assessment (OLA) and Continuing Certification through feedback and bidirectional communication with stakeholders. Initiatives for 2021 include working toward inclusion and diversity of ABR volunteers and staff and enhanced accountability for costs.

Executive Director Brent Wagner provides an update on remote exam development and progress through a YouTube video that can be accessed here. The ABR has established a subscription-available YouTube channel that provides up-to-date information on recent developments of interest for candidates and diplomates. In a separate article, Brent and Vince describe the efforts of ABR senior staff and leadership to control costs now and in the future.

From the Board of Governors, Cheri Canon, chair of the ethics and professionalism committee, explains how professionalism is an essential element of board certification, and how the committee monitors and reviews issues reported by various entities for candidates, diplomates, ABR volunteers, and ABR staff. Don Flemming, chair of the Board of Trustees, reviews feedback from the Diagnostic Radiology Certifying Pilot Exam delivered in January – largely a success – with discussion of how to improve the platform and delivery for upcoming remote exams.

From the disciplines, Reed Dunnick, associate executive director for diagnostic radiology, is responsible for reviewing comments solicited from OLA participants; he provides examples of how feedback helps improve OLA delivery moving forward. Paul Rochon, ABR Trustee representing IR/DR, describes the steps taken to ensure candidates are prepared for the initial IR/DR remote Core Exam (delivery just completed over the first two weeks of February), the remote written certifying exam in April, and the remote oral certifying exam in May.

In a similar vein, an article from radiation oncology authored by Paul Wallner, Brian Davis, and Anthony Gerdeman elucidates the logistics involved in exam development, specifically focused on the delivery of the oral exam. Primary author Matt Podgorsak and colleagues from medical physics explain the question “decline” feature in OLA: what it does, what it doesn’t do, and how it may be used.

In the New Perspectives column, Jim Spies, associate executive director for IR/DR, writes about the establishment of the IR/DR MOC Advisory Committee and its charge, focus, and purpose  ̶  soliciting important suggestions from committee members. The Volunteer Spotlight features Hatice Savas, MD, who describes her “less-traditional” path to ABR certification and her plans for using the volunteer position as an opportunity to stay up-to-date with her field of expertise.

In news and announcements, Mary Mahoney, former ABR Trustee and Governor, is the 2021 President of the Radiological Society of North America. We wish her the best in her leadership role! We also express congratulations in advance to ABR Governor Cheri Canon as a Gold Medal recipient of the American College of Radiology, to be awarded at the annual meeting in May.

We sincerely appreciate your interest in The Beam and solicit feedback regarding the current content and suggestions for articles and issues to be featured in upcoming editions. Please contact me at, the editorial staff at, or call the ABR office at (520) 790-2900.

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