Introducing ABR Online Longitudinal Assessment
American Board of Radiology Spring 2018
As announced in 2016, the American Board of Radiology (ABR) is developing an Online Longitudinal Assessment (OLA) to replace its traditional 10-year Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Exam as the means for diplomates to meet requirements for Part 3 of MOC. A pilot will begin in 2018, with anticipated live rollout for diagnostic radiologists in 2019. OLA for interventional radiologists, medical physicists and radiation oncologists will follow thereafter, likely in 2020.
How will OLA work?
Diplomates will receive one question set for each certificate they maintain. Each diplomate will have 104 question opportunities per year, with two opportunities sent via email each week. Each opportunity will remain available for four weeks.
A total of 52 questions must be answered per year. Up to 10 “declines” (after viewing the question) are allowed each year. Each question will be in multiple-choice format, and the diplomate will have a time limit for answering a question, typically one minute. After each question is answered, there will be immediate feedback, including the correct answer, the rationale and a reference. If the question is not answered correctly, the diplomate will receive a variant of the same question within several weeks. The knowledge gained in the first question will then be applicable in answering the variant question, completing the educational circle.
The questions are geared toward what is called “walking-around knowledge,” defined as knowledge that a reasonably up-to-date interventionalist should know without having to use references. While the practices of interventional radiologists vary greatly, the questions are intended to focus on information that a diplomate might be asked by a referring physician or a colleague and that he or she should know in most cases, even if the diplomate does not practice in that specific area of IR.
The first OLA “performance evaluation” will be based on the diplomate’s first 200 questions answered, and this will be at least two years after the initiation of the program. Diplomates who were meeting the Part 3 requirement in 2017 are deferred from meeting requirements for MOC Part 3 until OLA is launched in their discipline; however, they must continue to meet MOC requirements for Parts 1, 2 and 4 and attest annually in myABR.
After OLA has been fully implemented, diplomates must continue to meet MOC requirements and attest annually for Parts 1, 2, 3 (OLA) and 4. To check your MOC status and attestations, log in to myABR at myabr.theabr.org.
How will OLA benefit me?
First, OLA will have little impact on your workday, with each question taking only a few minutes to answer and review. To make the process even more convenient, the questions can be saved for up to four weeks and taken as a group. You’ll be able to use your desktop computer, laptop or tablet to answer questions wherever you choose—at home, at your office, at your local coffee shop or anywhere else internet access is available.
OLA will offer you lots of flexibility, with options for how frequently you answer questions. As mentioned above, this educational model also has the potential for retesting in areas of weakness, and you’ll receive immediate feedback after you answer a question.
Perhaps most importantly, you’ll no longer need travel to Chicago or Tucson to take an exam to complete the MOC Part 3 requirement. An exam will be required only for those who have not received a passing decision. Although OLA will be much more convenient for most interventional radiologists, diplomates may choose to take an exam rather than participate in OLA; this will be the IR Oral Exam currently taken for initial certification.
More information and a schedule of release dates will be forthcoming. However, your immediate questions about OLA may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.