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CNN: Cheating On Radiology Boards Common

January 13, 2012
Written by: , Filed in: Medical Ethics
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A CNN report scheduled for tonight accuses most radiologists who take the exam to become board certified of cheating.

A CNN story about the report, posted online earlier today, begins: “For years, doctors around the country taking an exam to become board certified in radiology have cheated by memorizing test questions, creating sophisticated banks of what are known as ‘recalls,’ a CNN investigation has found.”

Radiology residents memorize test questions, write them down immediately after the test, and compile them into recalls for future use by other radiology residents, even though they must sign a document agreeing not to share test material, CNN said.

Gary Becker, MD, executive director of the American Board of Radiology (ABR), told CNN:

We would call it cheating, and our exam security policy would call it cheating.

The ABR Web site includes links to the ABR exam security policy and a statement by Dr. Becker about exam security, plus a video that warns test takers not to use recalls.

About half of the written questions are new every year. The rest are recycled from previous years.

CNN interviewed radiologists and radiology residents last November at the Radiological Society of North America’s annual conference in Chicago. It concluded that “recalls have been widely used in most, if not all, radiology programs for more than a decade.”

Radiologist John Yoo, MD, told CNN that radiologists use the recalls as study guides. “It is sort of out of necessity to pass these examinations that you have to rely on the recall,” he said.

Another radiologist, Joseph Dieber, MD, told CNN the recalls were necessary because of the nature of the test:

Some of the questions are so obscure that unless you know that they like to ask questions about that topic, you’re not going to study it because some of them are completely irrelevant to the modern practice of radiology.

CNN said the report, “Prescription for Cheating,” would air at 8 p.m. Eastern Time tonight on Anderson Cooper’s AC360ยบ show.

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One Response to “CNN: Cheating On Radiology Boards Common”

  1. CNN Finds Medical Residents Cheating on Radiology Board Certification Exams | Lansing Personal Injury Lawyer on July 3rd, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    […] medical residents at even some of the most prestigious medical schools across the country. Although radiology residents must sign a document agreeing not to share test material, some still ignore this agreement and […]