Hot button feels the heat

October 1, 2007

The "experiment" in delaying oral boards until after completing residency (in that case, one year later) has already been done and failed miserably. Radiologists in fellowships or active practice often will not or cannot preserve their global information base or continue board preparation. The result of repeating this experiment will be an increased failure/condition rate, as before. Or worse, a dumbing down of expectations and the scoring system.

Editor: Here's a sampling of our website's Hot Button responses overwhelmingly rejecting the oral boards delay.

The "experiment" in delaying oral boards until after completing residency (in that case, one year later) has already been done and failed miserably. Radiologists in fellowships or active practice often will not or cannot preserve their global information base or continue board preparation. The result of repeating this experiment will be an increased failure/condition rate, as before. Or worse, a dumbing down of expectations and the scoring system.

Gil Brogdon, M.D.
Professor emeritus of radiology
University of South Alabama Medical Center
Mobile, AL

I believe the two-year delay should not be instituted. After a two-year delay, many subjects not utilized on a daily basis may be forgotten, which is only human. Immediately post-training is the optimum time for the boards!

Henry Alperin, M.D.
Radiologist
Columbus, GA

It's a terrible idea to delay. Consider how this will affect the number of radiologists who will no longer have the time to study and therefore will increase the number of non-board-certified radiologists! The unintended consequence will be a decrease in the quality of radiologists in practice.

Cathrine Keller, M.D.
Radiologist
Leesburg, FL

Delaying oral boards is a terrible idea. This is just another example of academic radiologists trying to squeeze more work out of their residents. Oral boards should not be delayed. Delay will result in income loss to working radiologists while studying for oral boards. Overall knowledge base will significantly decline in subspecialized radiologists.

Scott Wolf, M.D.
Radiologist
Chicago Heights, IL

Despite Dr. Baker's articulate argument, the exam should be left as is. Chairpersons can enforce the appropriate work rules among their residents, so that they do not neglect their clinical duties while preparing for the exam. In fact, programs should be designed so that residents from one program do not have an unfair advantage with respect to study time.

Wesley Henry, M.D.
Radiologist
Charleston, SC