Initial Certification


Medical Physics

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What does certification mean?

ABR certification means that you have demonstrated a reasonable mastery of the principles of your specialty of medical physics, and have enough expertise and experience to function independently in the practice of medical physics in a clinical setting.

Certification is not a hallmark of excellence. It is simply documentation that at the time of the oral exam you had a firm grasp of the essentials of the discipline necessary for you to work with healthcare providers and patients.

2. Why is certification important?

Certification is an independent and objective assessment of the qualifications of the certified individual to assume patient-related responsibilities. Employers depend on certification to ensure that individuals can provide high-quality service and not place patients or an institution at risk. Certification is especially meaningful when the certification process itself has the approval of an oversight agency such as the American Board of Medical Specialties.

3. When will I get my results?

Pass/fail results are posted on the candidate's myABR account approximately three weeks after the last day of the exams. "Next steps" letters for the oral examinations are posted approximately three to four weeks after the examination results are posted on the candidate's myABR account.

4. When am I eligible to apply for certification?

You can apply to take Part 1 of the computer-based examination anytime after you are officially enrolled in a CAMPEP-accredited medical physics graduate program, DMP program, certificate program, or residency. Enrolled means that you have been accepted into the program and have begun coursework or residency duties. Please see the website: /ic-rp-process#part1, for application process and dates.

You are eligible to take Part 2 of the computer-based exam only after you have earned a graduate degree, have satisfied the experience requirements or residency requirements, and have passed Part 1. When you pass the Part 2 computer-based examination, you are eligible to take the oral examination.

5. During the oral examination, am I at risk if I don't hit it off with a particular examiner?

No. We do everything we can to make the oral examination as objective as possible, including:

  • choosing oral examiners very carefully;
  • instructing examiners on the exam and scoring processes;
  • ensuring that there are always experienced examiners on each oral panel;
  • having each of five oral examiners question the candidate in each of five question categories. By averaging the scores across five examiners in each category, a single examiner cannot fail a candidate if the other examiners believe the candidate did well.
  • discussing the performance of each candidate at a panel meeting at the end of the examination day, and possibly adjusting a score upward (never downward) if the candidate did better with some examiners than with others;
  • using several methods to evaluate the performance of examiners to ensure that candidates are treated in a friendly and fair manner;
  • having reviewers observe the performance of examiners.