News from the ABR

The BEAM January 2020

January 23, 2020 | Volume 13, Issue 1

A New Decade and a Fresh Look

by J. Anthony Seibert, PhD, ABR Governor


A hearty welcome to the New Year and a new edition of The BEAM! With the move into 2020 and the next decade, the editorial staff has been busy implementing a new layout with different themes and improved access to articles. We’ll continue to provide important announcements and links, including to the ABR blog. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome our new Communications Coordinator, Heather Hopkins, and User Experience and Graphic Designer David Short to The BEAM editorial staff, along with Communications and Marketing Manager Rodney Campbell. They are the ones who coordinate, collect, edit, and assemble articles, as well as interact with the ABR Governors, Trustees, volunteers, and staff to gather content and provide design for each edition. Communication is an extremely important component of the ABR Mission — “To certify that our diplomates demonstrate the requisite knowledge, skill, and understanding of their disciplines to the benefit of patients” — and The BEAM serves as one of the many conduits in disseminating information to assist in meeting those goals for you, our candidates and diplomates.

Click HERE to read more.


OLA Talk Highlights RSNA Annual Meeting

by Vincent P. Mathews, MD, President-elect


Over the past year, many conversations that American Board of Radiology staff and volunteers have had with diplomates have concerned Online Longitudinal Assessment (OLA). Not surprisingly, that was also the case during the RSNA Annual Meeting, with its more than 50,000 radiology professionals and vendors in attendance.

OLA is a progressive assessment that gives diplomates a convenient Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Part 3 option to replace the traditional computer-based exam, which is now required every five years. It’s aligned with the other three parts of MOC: state licensure (Part 1), CME and self-assessment (Part 2), and participation in practice quality improvement activities (Part 4).

Click HERE to read more.


Statement of Professionalism

by Cheri L. Canon, MD, ABR Governor


The American Board of Radiology’s mission is to certify that our diplomates demonstrate the requisite knowledge, skill, and understanding of their disciplines to the benefit of patients. Professionalism is inherent in the care of our patients. To ensure that a professional and inclusive environment exists within our organization as well as for our diplomates and candidates, the ABR supports the 2019 Intersociety Conference (ISC) Statement of Professionalism.

I was fortunate to be part of the ISC Executive Committee, which was established in 1979 and is staffed by the American College of Radiology.


Click HERE to read more.


One Year In, Reaction to OLA Is Mostly Positive

by N. Reed Dunnick, MD, Associate Executive Director, Diagnostic Radiology


The American Board of Radiology’s primary mission is to protect the public by ensuring that board-certified radiologists have acquired and maintained the skills needed to practice their profession. Initial certification is a challenging hurdle: candidates must pass a rigorous initial qualifying exam that includes all aspects of diagnostic radiology, including all organ systems and modalities as well as noninterpretive skills. With the expansion of diagnostic radiology, subspecialization is increasing, and the Certifying Exam, taken 15 months after residency training is completed, allows candidates to tailor their exams to the areas in which they expect to practice.

Click HERE to read more.


Pathways to IR/DR Certification

by Anne M. Covey, MD, ABR Trustee


As we usher in the new year, it is a good time to review changes that will occur in interventional radiology (IR) training pathways and their impact on interventional radiology/diagnostic radiology (IR/DR) certification. In June of this year, the last traditional IR fellows will graduate. Going forward, all IR graduates will be trained in either integrated or independent IR residencies. The first independent IR residency (with a duration of either two years or one year following an early specialization in IR [ESIR] during DR residency) begins in July 2020. 


Click HERE to read more.


OLA Committee Chair Enjoys Interacting with Physicians Locally and Internationally

by Heather S. Hopkins


As the program director of both the Interventional Radiology (IR) Integrated Residency and the IR Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital, T. Gregory Walker, MD, FSIR, is very involved in training future interventional radiologists, which he finds both rewarding and humbling. In his experiences as an interventional radiologist, Dr. Walker has watched the field undergo dramatic changes with the implementation of the IR residency as the means of training physicians in this specialty.


Click HERE to read more.


New Year Brings New Features to OLA


The New Year has arrived and with it comes improvements to Online Longitudinal Assessment (OLA) for continuing and new participants.

Enhancements include:

  • Diplomates certified in diagnostic radiology have the option to include emergency radiology in their practice profiles. Profiles can be changed on the OLA site by clicking “Edit” under the practice profile section on the dashboard. From there, participants may choose a maximum of three clinical practice areas.


Click HERE to read more.


Board Eligibility Policy


The ABR board recently made updates to the board eligibility policy for candidates for our subspecialty certificates.

The biggest change impacts the period during which the ABR grants board eligible status. Candidates now have until December 31 of the sixth full calendar year after the completion of their training to become certified.

Termination dates for board eligibility status are listed below. Because some candidates have completed training and continued in the examination process under various previously announced policies, a transitional phase-in period is reflected where appropriate.


Click HERE to read more.


Last Chance for Some VIR Fellows to Become Certified


An important deadline is approaching for candidates who finished their vascular interventional radiology fellowships prior to 2010 and are not yet certified. The application period for anyone wanting to take the October 2020 IR certification exam runs through February 28. This will be the last opportunity for those VIR fellowship candidates to take the Certifying Exam. Anyone who has already applied for the exam need not do so again. More on the exam can be found here. Our certification services team is available at or (520) 790-2900.


We Can Help Share Your News


Have an interesting photo or message to share with the radiology and medical physics community? We can help. Our social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter – are available for diplomates and candidates to use for sharing information. We also welcome photos that show people having fun at work or away from the office or medical center. We have more than 4,000 followers combined on social media, so there’s a ready-made audience. Anyone interested may submit photos and details about the images to


January 14 Blog

Emergency Call Answered for OLA’s Second Year

December 30 Blog

OLA Starts, Continues Next Monday for Diplomates Enrolled in MOC

December 10 Blog

Diplomate Makes the Most of Her OLA Opportunities

December 3 Blog

Stay Up to Date by Keeping MyABR Information Current

November 25 Blog

Healthy Reserves Help Avoid Fee Increases

Society Attendance

The ABR sponsors a booth at numerous society meetings throughout the year. Printed materials are available, and ABR representatives are in attendance to answer your questions. To see a list of society meetings at which the ABR will have a booth in 2020, please click here.


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