The Image of Those Who Make Medical Images

Radiologists, the professionals who create medical images, upon whose skill, care, and truthfulness we all rely, are a colorful bunch of people. A recent letter/diatribe in a medical journal hints at just how colorful and bright some of them can be:

Avoiding Testocracy,” Richard B. Gunderman, MD [pictured here], PhD, Zachary Ballenger, MD and Darel E. Heitkamp, MD, Radiology, vol. 265, November 2012, pp. 332-335. (Thanks to investigator Ivan Oransky for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at Indiana University School of Medicine, write:

“Recent controversy involving the American Board of Radiology (ABR) has garnered a great deal of attention. Allegations concerning widespread cheating on qualifying examinations, against which the ABR has mounted a spirited defense, have surfaced in national news media (2). In particular, critics allege that recently tested ABR candidates have been engaged in inappropriately sharing examination content with future candidates, artificially raising scores (3). Partly in response to these allegations, the ABR is requiring candidates, program directors, program coordinators, and department chairs to sign attestations prohibiting cheating, including the sharing of questions from examinations.

“One sign of a robust profession is the quality of dialogue surrounding its methods for educating and certifying the performance of new entrants. In what follows, we do not intend in any way to criticize or undermine the important work of the ABR or its personnel, trustees, and many volunteers. We seek only to stimulate…”