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    March 01, 2013

    APDR Issues Position on Resident Duties during Core Exam Prep

    The Association of Program Directors in Radiology (APDR) has recommended that radiology residents not be given time off from clinical service to study before the American Board of Radiology (ABR) core qualifying examination administered after the third year of residency.

    In an article published in the November 2012 issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology, Kristen DeStigter, M.D., Martha Mainiero, M.D., Murray Janower, M.D., and Charles Resnik, M.D., note that the practice of giving residents as much as six months off from clinical duties before the oral board examinations resulted in a disruptive period at many radiology residency programs known as “board frenzy.” Attempts to curtail the practice failed, they added.

    With the new core examination schedule, programs now have just three years to fulfill Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) requirements for clinical rotations and formal instruction in diagnostic radiology, the authors note. “Time off for studying during this time is at odds with the necessary clinical experience required for the examination,” they state.

    Programs should follow the guidelines of the Diagnostic Radiology Residency Review Committee of the ACGME in granting residents brief absences from call to attend conferences targeted to the core curriculum, the authors state.

    Residents must embrace the concept of “lifelong learning” from the beginning and learn to engage in continuous self-study, the authors add. “It is our responsibility to ensure that our residents are trained with the skill set to be successful in their careers, including the ability to achieve a balance between work, study and home life, an important competency that will obviate the necessity for “board frenzy,” they conclude.

    Access the article at www.jacr.org/article/S1546-1440%2812%2900275-X/fulltext.

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