From the Editor

From the Editor

by J. Anthony Seibert, PhD, ABR Governor


In this issue of The BEAM, the lead article is a statement from ABR President Brent Wagner regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and contingency plans for ABR activities and upcoming meetings. Please visit the ABR website for the latest information and ABR policies concerning these issues. Our regular content includes:  

From the Executive Director – Val Jackson discusses the valuable role of the associate executive directors, their responsibilities and duties as staff members of the ABR, and the considerable assistance they provide to the trustees and governors in the implementation of the ABR mission.

From the BOG – Our new Board of Governors public member, Toby Gordon, ScD, gives her perspective on the ABR’s role in ensuring the public’s well-being through the certification of our diplomates. She considers the importance of ABR activities, processes, and policies, and provides great insight to the Board of Governors regarding public matters and opinion. 

Focus on MP  ̶  Don Frey reviews the history of certification for medical doctors, radiologists, and medical physicists from the early days to the present, and provides an insightful perspective  on how the current disciplines of therapeutic, nuclear, and diagnostic medical physics have benefited greatly from ABR certification. 

Focus on RO  ̶  Brian Davis and Paul Wallner give an update on the non-clinical skills (NCS) component of the radiation oncology Certifying and Maintenance of Certification exams. They discuss the NCS syllabus available on the ABR website, the development and update of items (questions) from the syllabus, and NCS content weighting for the Certifying Exam and Online Longitudinal Assessment (OLA). 

Spotlight on the ABR Editorial Services Team  ̶  Three talented ABR staff  ̶  Jenneen Lowry, Kristi Jenkins, and Amy Chap  ̶  provide editorial services for subject matter experts and committees in the exam development process to ensure consistency in language and style for all exam and OLA  content. This amazing team serves an indispensable role in having clearly written and grammatically correct items for ABR exams. 

OLA Update provides details on the flexibility of OLA in terms of declines and four-week availability for items presented weekly to most diplomates enrolled in MOC. 

As always, thanks for reading The BEAM. Your comments and feedback are encouraged and gratefully accepted. You can reach us at


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