The ABR’s Thoughts on Doing the Right Thing

In response to concerns about exam administration, the American Board of Radiology has now released a “Statement on Delivering Remote Exams” to their Coronavirus updates page:

In response to queries, delivering our exams remotely is problematic. We have investigated many options, but the inability to adequately control image quality, the testing environment, and security would significantly threaten the fairness, reproducibility, validity, and reliability of the testing instrument across candidates.

A challenge? Sure. Problematic? A pure cop-out. To be absolutely clear, the ABR has already used remote testing in the past. It was just on their terms due to their mistake. There is nothing about ABR exam administration that cannot be effectively recreated in a remote setting, especially under these unprecedented circumstances.

We want to give exams that fairly and accurately assess a candidate’s knowledge and experience.

We’ve long since moved past wants and desires here. Nobody wants to be dealing with this, but forcing nationwide travel is by far the greatest threat to fair and accurate candidate assessment.

We pledge to remain flexible and responsive to candidate needs, and we appreciate everyone’s patience as we all go through the pandemic’s effects together.

Being “responsive to candidate needs” and also rejecting the idea of remote testing are 100% incompatible. This is absolutely a public health issue, and a head-down blinders-on approach is unacceptable for a health-related organization purporting to act in the public’s interest.

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