From the Executive Director

From the Executive Director

Training Verification Form Now References Core Competencies

by Brent Wagner, MD, MBA, ABR Executive Director


To patients, ABR board certification is a credential that represents extensive training and the attainment of knowledge by individual radiologic professionals. The path to board certification recognizes the complementary roles of the residency programs (and mentors and teachers) and the ABR (as a standard-setting organization). The training element is the responsibility of the programs and the respective accrediting bodies (the ACGME, CAMPEP, and the RCPSC). The board exams are intended to assess competence at the time of Initial Certification by a standardized measure of the requisite breadth and depth of knowledge of important concepts across the domain of the individual’s intended independent practice. Currently, board certification includes a continuing component that involves elements of professionalism, a commitment to lifelong learning, practice improvement efforts, and the assessment of knowledge and potential knowledge gaps in the evolving practice of the field.

At the time an individual completes training, their institution is in a better position to establish satisfactory achievement in areas of practice that are beyond the scope of a standardized exam. In recognition of this, over the past year, the Board has considered revisions to the training verification document (in which the program director confirms the successful completion of training and qualification of the resident to sit for the certification exams). After discussion with faculty members and program director organizations across the four disciplines certified by the ABR, the language of the training verification form1 now includes reference to the core competencies as established by the ABMS and the ACGME. These characteristics of a successful trainee, based on the corresponding ongoing assessments by the local faculty, are broadly understood as a critical responsibility of the teaching programs. The modifications to the language of the training verification are intended to remind the program directors that the ABR relies on the local assessment because, despite offering a standardized assessment of technical skill and knowledge, the ABR is not optimally positioned to confirm the successful attainment of skills, including professionalism, that are not only inherently subjective but also dependent on ongoing assessment over the training period.

  1. “. . . verify that the candidate has satisfactorily achieved appropriate skills, knowledge and performance in the six ABMS/ACGME Core Competencies, including: Patient Care, Medical Knowledge, Practice-Based Learning & Improvement, Interpersonal Communication Skills, Professionalism, and Systems-Based Practice.” Derived from the Standards for Initial Certification | American Board of Medical Specialties (

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