Improving Health Through Medical Physics

AAPM Newsletter — Volume 42 No.2 — March | April 2017

ABR NewsGeoffrey Ibbott, PhD, ABR Board of Governors and Jerry Allison, PhD,J. Anthony Seibert, PhD, and Matthew B. Podgorsak, PhD, FAAPM,ABR Trustees


The American Board of Radiology (ABR) could not function without a large and diverse group of hard-working volunteers. Presently, there are 526 volunteers, including 108 medical physicists. Physics is an integral part of almost all ABR examinations, and without the many medical physics volunteers, production of the exams would not be possible. ABR volunteers write physics content for exams listed in the following table.

Medical Physics Diagnostic Radiology and IR/DR* Radiation Oncology
Part 1– ClinicalCorePhysics
Part 1 – GeneralCertifying
Part 2 – DMPRISE**
Part 2 – NMP
Part 2 – TMP
Oral – DMP
Oral – NMP
Oral – TMP
OLA*** – DMP
OLA*** – NMP
OLA*** – TMP
*IR/DR candidates also take the Core Exam and part of the Certifying Exam.
**Radioisotope Safety Exam
***Online Longitudinal Assessment, which is currently under development and will eventually replace the traditional 10-year Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Exam.

After each question is written, it is reviewed by a group of medical physicists before it is accepted into a pool of available physics questions. This pool of questions is used by another group of ABR volunteers to assemble content for each of the examinations.

How Can I Volunteer?

We strongly encourage all medical physics diplomates of the ABR to volunteer. In particular, we are actively seeking nuclear medical physicists for various committee assignments. Almost all ABR volunteers begin as question writers for one of the many examinations. The training that question writers receive is valuable for anyone who writes questions for any cognitive examination.


  • Must be certified by the ABR or the ABMP.
  • Question writers must be one year post certification.
  • Oral examiners must be three years post certification.
  • Must be clinically active in the profession.
  • Must be enrolled in and meeting the requirements of MOC.

Because we encourage diversity in our volunteers, we welcome medical physicists with either MS or PhD degrees, as well as those from academia or private practice. Please contemplate the needs of the profession and consider volunteering here, where a form is available for you to complete and submit online.

It generally takes a while for the ABR to process a volunteer application. You can help by making sure you include the email addresses of your references and listing your areas of expertise and areas where you would like to help. As the ABR changes from the decennial MOC exam to ABR OLA (Online Longitudinal Assessment), we are seeking additional volunteers to participate in this exciting new activity.

Welcome Matthew B. Podgorsak and a Note of Thanks to Mike Herman

Dr. Podgorsak, who has a therapeutic physics portfolio, has recently become an ABR trustee. He has filled the position previously held by Dr. Michael Herman. We would like to thank Dr. Herman for his innumerable hours of volunteer service to the ABR. Dr. Podgorsak is the chief physicist at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Department of Radiation Therapy, in Buffalo, New York. Like Dr. Herman, he has a long history of volunteer service to the ABR and previously received a Volunteer Service Award. He has served on question-writing committees and also as an oral examiner. Welcome, Dr. Podgorsak!

New Question Types

You are reminded that new question types will be included on the Part 1 and Part 2 exams, which will be given in August. Please consult the ABR website for further details.

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