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A recent CNN investigation uncovered an alarming trend–doctors cheating on their board certification exams. According to CNN reporters, doctors taking a test to become board certified in radiology have created an online database of test questions to memorize. These test question banks are called "recalls" and are compiled by medical residents who have already taken the exam and write down the test questions.

The recall databases apparently contain a meticulously collected set of questions and are gathered by 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 share the material regardless. According to Dr. Gary Becker, the executive director of the American Board of Radiologists (ABR), this kind of behavior would constitute cheating.

The ABR takes the cheating seriously, says Dr. James Borgstede, president-elect of the ABR. The number one concern is for the well-being of patients, who should be assured that their radiologist has demonstrated, acquired and maintained the skills needed to be a radiologist in good standing. The ABR recently issued a video of Dr. Borgstede on its website warning medical residents of the unethical practice of using recall material online. The recall investigation by CNN revealed that about 15 years of questions and answers were published online, and some were even prepared as PowerPoint presentations.

One Comment

  1. Gravatar for jc

    I would also like to report a very very disturbing situation. Today in the USA an unqualified lawyer who has just passed the state bar exam can file a medical malpractice suit against a doctor. These medical malpractice suits are highly technical lawsuits. Yet the American Bar Association has refused to issue guidelines and has no training for these "inexperienced" (incompetent?)lawyers to file these complex lawsuits. So 80% of medical malpractice suits that go to court are won by the defendant doctor. Think about it, plaintiff lawyers have an 80% failure rate at trial, a rate of failure unmatched in American industry. If the American Bar Association ran hospitals the way they monitor the legal profession, interns would be allowed to do brain surgery. How hypocritical of David Mittleman to critizise radiology residents about "cheating on boards" when his fellow lawyers take no training at all relative to various specialities in their profession.

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