From the Editor

From the Editor

by J. Anthony Seibert, PhD, ABR Governor


The ongoing pandemic has affected us all. The ABR has responded by directing a major investment in the design, development, and implementation of remote exams for all disciplines that will be in place by early 2021. In this issue, new ABR Executive Director Brent Wagner discusses his experience as a trustee and governor and the perspective he gained while serving in those roles. He describes two goals: to improve ABR communications with diplomates and stakeholders and to prioritize the board’s directives through ABR staff efforts to enable “remote exam models that are fair, reliably executed, relevant, and reasonably secure.” An expansion of the exam delivery platform is discussed by Brent and ABR President Vince Mathews in an accompanying article regarding the logistics and timing of the implementation.

Continuing the theme of exam administration, Paul Wallner, associate executive director for radiation oncology, and David Laszakovits, ABR director of external relations, write about the timeline of events for radiation oncology initial certification and the decisions leading to the postponement of examinations and the transition to remote administration.

Speaking of transitions, two of the ABR’s associate executive directors are officially retiring at the end of July: Anne Roberts, MD, for interventional radiology, and Don Frey, PhD, for medical physics. Appropriately, the senior trustees for these disciplines, Jim Spies and Matt Podgorsak, respectively, have summarized the accomplishments of these outstanding directors who have provided an exceptional level of service to the ABR and its mission. You can appreciate why they will be sincerely missed by reading these articles.

From the ABR staff, Heather Hopkins describes the challenges that remote exam administration offers the Information Technology (IT) group, headed by Director Scott Segal, and the crucial role IT will play in developing the platforms across disciplines with differing requirements for content delivery, remote proctoring, and security. Other news includes Online Longitudinal Assessment (OLA) user features that make things easier for diplomates, and the announcement of a series of YouTube videos featuring Brent Wagner that will be released over the next several months.

We are experiencing a rapidly changing situation with the pandemic — to stay up to date with the latest news, adjustments to exam delivery dates, certification processes, and ABR activities, please refer to the ABR website.

I hope you find this edition of The Beam informative – we are always responsive to suggestions, comments, and feedback. Please contact me or the editorial staff ( or call the main office at 520-790-2900.


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