Use of Attending Radiologist Reviews of Resident Clinical Performance to Predict Outcomes on the American Board of Radiology Qualifying (Core) Exam: A Call to Action

Published:August 30, 2022DOI:
      Certifying exams are a part of professional life. Whether the bar exam in law, or the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam in accounting, or the multitude of certifying exams among the clinical disciplines of the American Board of Medical Specialties, the ability to predict which candidates will successfully pass in a particular professional discipline has long been of interest. This interest might be from a screening standpoint, in attempts to answer the question of whether a potential student or trainee will pass future exams since passage rates might reflect on the stature of a school or, in the case of medicine, a residency training program. The use of threshold values of a high stakes standardized test to select or screen applicants to schools and/or residency programs is highly controversial and complicated, and beyond the scope of this editorial other than to comment that as of 2022 the United States Medical Licensure Examination (USMLE) Step 1 will be recorded as pass/fail, without a numerical score. Alternatively, and more pertinent to medical specialties, this interest might help predict successful performance in the training program as well the candidate's potential ability to pass future exams. For physician educators, the impetus for identifying tools or methods which help to predict future performance on certifying exams is to identify learners already in graduate medical education training programs who are at risk of failing so that appropriate interventional strategies can be developed and implemented early on, when the training and learning trajectories can be altered. These implementation strategies, when successful, benefit the individual as well as the training program, which is bound by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) core program requirement of an 80% first time certifying exam pass rate during any three-year look back for residencies in which the certifying board holds annual exams (

      ACGME Program Requirements for Graduate Medical Education in Diagnostic Radiology. V.C.3.c Available at: Accessed July 29, 2022

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      1. ACGME Program Requirements for Graduate Medical Education in Diagnostic Radiology. V.C.3.c Available at: Accessed July 29, 2022

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