February 13, 2004

Radiology residents continue to lead in American Board of Radiology exams

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Dr. Thomas Dina

Radiology residents continue to lead in American Board of Radiology exams

For the third consecutive year, Vanderbilt’s radiology residents were ranked No. 1 out of 191 programs by the American Board of Radiology.

“This ranking has helped further attract the top applicants in the country,” Dr. Thomas Dina, director of the residency training program in Radiology and Radiological Sciences, said.

Additionally, for the seventh year in a row, Vanderbilt University Medical Center radiology residents have achieved a 100 percent pass rate on the oral American Board of Radiology examination. Vanderbilt’s radiology residents completed the exam with no failures nor any “conditions,” which means all candidates passed the oral exam on the first attempt.

The 10-part oral exam, which is required for residents to become board certified in diagnostic radiology, was completed in June 2003.

Dina said that unlike other specialties, in which board certification occurs one or more years after residency, the ABR exam occurs in the last month of residency.

This year, the highly selective program will be accepting only five residents out of more than 500 applicants.

“We provide excellent training for radiology residents,” said Dr. Martin P. Sandler, Carol D. and Henry P. Pendergrass professor and chairman of the Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences. ”We are nationally recognized as one of the best training programs for radiology residents and fellows. The faculty are very committed to teaching and spending a lot of time with residents one on one. They put a lot of effort into this.”

Added Dina, “This certainly reflects on the continuing dedication and focus of our clinical faculty who are first and foremost teachers.”

For certification by the American Board of Radiology, residents are examined in three parts. The first is the written physics exam, which can be taken as early as the second year.

The clinical exam is normally taken in September of their third or fourth year, although most take the exam in the third year. This is followed by an oral exam in June, which is primarily a pass-fail system for each of the 10 sections of diagnostic radiology. The written clinical examination also covers the 10 subspecialties of radiology, but in a more readily scored format.