From the Editor

From the Editor

New Year Brings Exciting Board Initiatives and Activities

By Mary S. Newell, MD, ABR Governor


Mary S. Newell, MD

With 2023 upon us, I hope we all feel newly invigorated to pursue rewarding initiatives and interests, professional but personal as well! I plan to bake the perfect baguette this year, among other projects. In this issue of The Beam, we see there is activity aplenty at the ABR, with many exciting results.     

In this issue …

From the President

ABR President Robert Barr, MD, and Executive Director Brent Wagner, MD, MBA, detail the strategic priorities and areas of emphasis on which the ABR governing board and management team are focused, ensuring an important balance in the certification process, as well as enhanced service across the organization.

From the Executive Director

Dr. Wagner very “concretely” makes note (after a fortuitous elevator conversation) that the ABR’s vital mission parallels that of other organizations tasked with certifying the quality and competence of their members for the benefit of all stakeholders.   

From the Board of Trustees

ABR Trustee PJ Rochon, MD, and Governor Toby Gordon, ScD, report on important and impending Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee initiatives and impart some of their philosophical views on what next steps will look like for the group.

Focus on DR

ABR Governor Donald Flemming, MD, and Psychometrician Brooke Houck, PhD, discuss the aggregate exam results report that the ABR provides to residency programs for all initial certification exams. 

Focus on IR

Associate Executive Director for Interventional Radiology Jim Spies, MD, summarizes important upcoming changes to the timing of the IR Oral Certifying Exam and recounts the motivating factors behind the modification.

Focus on MP

ABR Trustees Kalpana Kanal, PhD, Matthew Podgorsak, PhD, and Robert Pooley, PhD, along with MP Associate Executive Director Geoff Ibbott, PhD, describe the new category structure to be used for the Diagnostic Medical Physics Oral Certifying Exam and outline the impetus for making the change.

Focus on RO

In “A Tribute to Dr. Paul Wallner,” ABR Trustees Andrea Ng, Brian Davis, and John Suh and Governor Kaled Alektiar honor a wonderful colleague, who will be stepping down from his position as RO Associate Executive Director this spring, and highlight his amazing career with the ABR and beyond.

New Perspectives

Sara Hunter, MD, the inaugural ABR awardee of the American Board of Medical Specialties Visiting Scholar program, updates us on her ongoing project and invites reader feedback about how Online Longitudinal Assessment (OLA) might be improved. 

ABR Staff Spotlight

ABR Communications Coordinator Heather Hopkins reports on the proactive approach ABR Help Desk members take on exam day, how the job has evolved, and how continuous improvement is the name of the game for this group.

Continuing Certification Update

This update provides important reminders for diplomates, including a prompt to complete your Continuing Certification attestations.


Pam Propeck, MD, is honored as a new Fellow of the Society of Breast Imaging. Mary S. (Mimi) Newell, MD, is selected as the new ABR Associate Executive Director for Diagnostic Radiology.

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