Maintenance of Certification for Diagnostic Radiology


Last verified on January 16, 2020
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When do I start using OLA?

Diagnostic radiology begins in January 2019 and interventional radiology/diagnostic radiology, medical physics, and radiation oncology follow in January 2020.

When does OLA begin for my specialty certificate?

Diagnostic radiology in January 2019 and interventional radiology/diagnostic radiology, medical physics, and radiation oncology in January 2020.

When does OLA begin for my medical subspecialty (CAQ)?

Diplomates with sub-specialties of neuroradiology, nuclear radiology, and pediatric radiology begin when their specialty starts OLA. For diagnostic radiology, January 2019; and for interventional radiology/diagnostic radiology, January 2020. For diplomates who have converted their diagnostic radiology certificate to IR/DR, OLA starts in January 2020.
OLA is not available for a hospice and palliative or a pain medicine certificate. Those diplomates must take a traditional exam.

How should I study for OLA?

The goal with all OLA content is that diplomates won't have to study. All content is intended to be "walking-around knowledge," or answers the average diplomate should know.

How does OLA fit within the MOC program?

OLA will fulfill the Part 3 requirement, replacing the 10-year MOC exam. Diplomates will need to continue to attest to meeting Part 1, 2, and 4 requirements each year between January 1 and March 1.

Will I still get to choose the clinical practice areas included in my exam?

Yes, practice profile rules for diagnostic radiologists will not change. Diagnostic radiology diplomates without a subspecialty will be able to choose up to three practice areas in which to receive questions. Radiation oncology, medical physics, and interventional radiology/diagnostic radiology diplomates will not have the ability to select clinical practice areas.

I recently took and passed an MOC exam. Will I be required to participate in OLA?

Yes, all diplomates will be required to participate in OLA when it becomes available for their specialty regardless of when their last MOC exam was passed.

I hold a subspecialty certificate. How will my practice profile be set?

Since you are maintaining a subspecialty certificate, your practice profile will be set for that subspecialty and can’t be modified.

How will OLA affect initial certification?

This change will not impact the ABR’s initial certification exams for diagnostic radiology, interventional radiology/diagnostic radiology, radiation oncology, medical physics, or any subspecialties.

What if my answer is incorrect?

You will receive a similar question on the same topic in the future.

How will I know if I am passing Part 3?

A passing threshold will be applied when approximately 200 questions have been answered. Since a diplomate need only answer 52 items a year, it will take several years to reach the target.

How many questions do I have to answer?

  • For a DR certificate only or a DR certificate and one subspecialty: a minimum of 52 questions a year.
  • For a DR certificate and two or more subspecialties: a minimum of 52 questions per year for each subspecialty certificate.
  • For IR/DR only: a minimum of 52 questions a year.
  • For IR/DR and any subspecialty certificate(s): a minimum of 52 questions for your IR/DR certificate and 52 for any subspecialty certificate you are maintaining per year.
  • For RO: a minimum of 52 questions a year.
  • For MP: a minimum of 52 questions a year for each specialty certificate.

How will I receive questions?

You will be notified once a week via email that you have two question opportunities available. You may choose to answer the questions immediately or at a more convenient time. Each question opportunity will be available for four weeks. When you choose a question, you will have a limited amount of time to answer it.

Will I know if my answer is correct?

Yes, you will receive immediate feedback. Each question will have a brief explanation of the correct answer and at least one reference will be given.

What if my answer is incorrect?

You will receive a similar question on the same topic in the future.

What happens if I don’t answer a question and the timer runs out?

If you don’t select an answer and your timer runs out, the question will be counted as incorrect. If you selected an answer and your timer runs out, the system will use the answer you selected to score that question.

How often may I decline a question?

You will receive 10 declines a year for each set of 104 question opportunities you receive. These are intended to be used when a question arises that isn’t a part of your clinical work.

Will I have 10 declines throughout the entire year if I do not use them?

You will start with 10 in January. As the year progresses, you may notice your declines decrease periodically or may be removed if you need to answer all remaining question opportunities to meet your requirement.

How long will each question be available?

Each opportunity will be available for four weeks.

How many questions do I need to answer correctly?

Each question is rated individually, and each diplomate receives a different set of questions, so each passing standard will vary slightly. You will have a dashboard showing your performance against the passing standard well in advance of answering 200 questions, so you’ll know how you’re doing.

What if I don’t answer 52 questions during the year?

If you do not answer 52 questions a year, the remaining questions will be counted as incorrect. Please remember, the questions are based on “walking-around knowledge,” not something that requires studying.

Will I be able to see if I am meeting the standard throughout the year?

Once you have answered approximately 52 questions, we will provide a graph to show if you are on track to meet the standard. Until then, you may see questions and answers that are being used toward your performance evaluation on the history tab.

When will the ABR start evaluating my OLA performance?

Your OLA performance evaluation will occur after you have answered approximately 200 questions. After the initial evaluation, your OLA performance will be updated quarterly. Though OLA performance evaluations happen quarterly, your MOC status can only be downgraded during the annual review every March 2.
If you answer more than the required 52 questions per year, all will be counted in your assessment and you will reach the 200-question threshold for the OLA performance evaluation sooner.

What if I answer 200 questions in two years and not the more typical four years? Do I just continue answering questions?

Yes, please keep answering the required 52 questions per calendar year. Keep in mind that you have a great deal of flexibility in the time of answering the questions. You could take up to six months off per year if you answer all 52 of your required questions in the remaining six months.

If I am not meeting the OLA passing standard, when will my MOC status change to “not meeting?”

Though OLA performance evaluations will take place quarterly once you’ve answered 200 questions, your MOC status can only be downgraded during the MOC Annual Review on March 2 of every year.

If I am “not meeting,” can I answer more questions to upgrade my MOC status? How soon will it change?

Your MOC status can be upgraded at any time during the year if you are able to answer more questions to meet the OLA passing standard.

Will CME credit be given for participation in OLA?

No. The ABR is not accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide CME. However, as soon as someone completes their OLA progress requirement for a particular year, their self-assessment CME (SA-CME) obligations will decrease from 25 to 15 for the previous three-year period. The total number of CME credits required (75) will remain the same; only the percentage that need to be SA-CME will change.

What devices, browsers, and operating systems are compatible with OLA?

We have optimized the OLA experience for desktop computers, laptops, and tablets. The minimum display resolution on these devices should be 1024x768. We recommend using the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, and Edge. Preferred operating systems include Windows 10, iOS 10, and Android 6. Please note that OLA may work with other devices, browsers, and operating systems, but we will not develop software or test for performance on them.

What about mobile support?

OLA is designed to work with iPads and similar tablet devices. Support for smartphones and other small devices with resolution less than 1024x768 is not planned at this time. OLA may work on other unsupported devices, but we cannot guarantee an optimal experience.

Do I need to answer the included survey questions before I get my answer?

No. You can skip them from the top of the page. The “confidence” and “relevant” survey questions are designed to be a gauge and learning tool for OLA users. Users will have the ability to review their confidence and question relevance information in the history tab and compare it to their correct and incorrect answers.