There’s Still Time to Stay on Pace with OLA
by N. Reed Dunnick, MD, ABR Associate Executive Director for Diagnostic Radiology
Continuing certification for physicians requires lifelong learning and a cognitive assessment of the knowledge of practicing physicians and physicists. The Online Longitudinal Assessment (OLA) instrument developed by the ABR is designed to both test knowledge and provide learning. The explanations given after each item are the consensus of a committee of experts in the area being tested.
As of June 2021, more than 30,000 diplomates have combined to answer more than 4 million OLA questions. They have also provided feedback on the usefulness of each item, which is greatly appreciated as we constantly strive to improve the OLA program.
Activity in 2021 remains strong with almost half of participating diplomates on track to answer their yearly required number of questions by late June. Unfortunately, four percent of participating diplomates have not answered any questions and six percent have answered fewer than 10.
How Many Questions Do I Need to Answer Each Year?
Since two questions are offered to most participants every week, 104 questions are available to be answered each year. To meet the OLA annual progress requirement, most diplomates need to answer only half, or 52 questions per year. Furthermore, OLA allows substantial flexibility regarding when diplomates answer questions, as items do not expire until four weeks after they are offered. Anyone who has not yet started participating, or who began to participate and stopped, should log in soon to avoid missing opportunities to meet their annual OLA progress requirement.
What Happens If I Don’t Answer Enough Questions?
Questions that are required but unanswered each year are considered “forfeited” and are counted as incorrect responses. For example, if 52 questions are required but only 50 are answered, the two unanswered questions are “forfeited” and counted as incorrect. The Scoring and Performance Evaluation section of the OLA FAQs provides more detailed information.
What Should I Do If I Am Behind?