Diagnostic Radiology Examination Description

Physicians certified in Diagnostic Radiology must successfully complete a computer-based (written) and oral examination. The oral component is taken after the candidate has passed the written examination. Physicians recertifying in Diagnostic Radiology are only required to successfully complete a computer-based (written) examination.

The Written Examination—What to Expect

The written certification examination consists of 200 multiple-choice items and is administered over a four-hour session. The written recertification examination consists of 100 multiple-choice items and is administered over a two-hour session. Each question has four potential responses, but only one correct answer. Each response to a question is scored as correct or not correct.

The outline below provides details of the subject areas (domains) covered on the examinations and the approximate number of items from each area. This domain listing is provided to help candidates prepare for the examination and is based on a comprehensive practice analysis of the key topics and knowledge in the specialty, as identified by practitioners, instructors, and other leaders in diagnostic radiology. Candidates should review this outline carefully and focus study on the areas listed. Each item on the examination is linked to a specific domain. No item is meant to be obscure or tricky. The information in the outline is meant to serve as a study aid only and not as a guarantee of success in taking the examination.

Domain Approximate Percentage of Questions on Exam
1 Ultrasound 9%
2 Breast Imaging 9%
3 Thoracic Imaging 8%
4 Genitourinary Tract Imaging 8%
5 Basic Knowledge of Physics 8%
6 Gastrointestinal Studies (Contrast and Non-Contrast) 8%
7 Angiography/Interventional Radiology 8%
8 Anatomy 8%
9 Neuroradiology 9%
10 Musculoskeletal Imaging 9%
11 Nuclear Medicine 8%
12 Pediatrics 8%

References

A candidate should focus their examination preparation on the content provided in the examination blueprint. The reference list is not meant to be a list of comprehensive study materials but rather to aid candidates who may wish to prepare more in a specific area of the examination blueprint that they may not be as familiar with. You may wish to use the study materials to prepare for the written certification examination. All items appearing on examinations have been written based on the material presented in these study references.

Click here to Download Study References

Examination Administration

Click here for ABPS Examination Schedule Information

Examination Results

Candidates will receive score reports indicating their pass/fail status on the written examination. Candidates who fail are provided a breakdown of their performance by subject content domains. ABPS sends examination results to candidates within 60 days of the last day of the administration window. Each examination is scored against predetermined standards of acceptable performance, utilizing modified Angoff procedures for establishing the minimum acceptable scores. A candidate who is successful in passing the written certification examination is then approved to take the oral examination at the next administration.  A candidate who is successful in passing the written recertification examination is then recertified and retains Diplomate status within ABPS and AAPS.

Retaking Examinations

A candidate may take the written examination as many as three times to attain a passing score. Candidates who are not successful in passing the examination within the number of allowable attempts may reapply for certification by completing a new application and meeting all the eligibility requirements in effect at the time the new application is submitted.

The Oral Certification Examination

Click here for a description of the Diagnostic Radiology Oral Examination

Accommodations for Religious Reasons and Disabilities

Click here to see the complete policy for accommodations.

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Patient Care Is Our Priority

Medical organizations throughout North America understand that our rigorous certification standards prove that ABPS Diplomates are capable of delivering the best patient care possible.

Board certification through the American Board of Physician Specialties has served to substantiate my interest and additional training in several fields of medicine including Internal Medicine, Disaster Medicine, and Administrative Medicine. As a result, I have been able to serve my community in clinical, disaster response, and administrative medicine roles. Through the ABPS, I have become recognized as a leader in my various fields of interest.

Spencer Price MD, MPH, MBA
Internal Medicine, Disaster Medicine, Administrative Medicine
BCEM certification through ABPS has provided me with many opportunities. It has helped me demonstrate that I have special experience and expertise in Emergency Medicine beyond that obtained through my family medicine training. BCEM certification firmly established me as an emergency medicine specialist once I started working in emergency medicine full time. ABPS has also helped me network with other family physicians with a passion for improving rural and underserved emergency medicine practice.

Alex Beuning, MD, FAAEP
Emergency Medicine
Personal challenge and motivation compelled me to pass my ABPS board exam. Measurement and confirmation of my own knowledge base reinforced my self-confidence. The ABPS, with its history of inclusivity, has allowed me to have a voice in the organization, while permitting me to impact overall national patient safety and care through certification. Participation in exam development afforded me the opportunity to witness the rigorousness of the exam process and psychometrically sound product, while developing meaningful collegiality, professional life enrichment, and warding off burn out.

Elizabeth Maxwell-Schmidt MD, FAAEP, FACEP
Emergency Medicine