1256. Preparation for the ABR Core Exam: Resident Study Habits and the Value of Case Conferences
Authors * Denotes Presenting Author
  1. Dennis Toy *; NewYork Presbyterian - Weill Cornell Medicine
  2. Joanna Escalon; NewYork Presbyterian - Weill Cornell Medicine
  3. Lauren Groner; NewYork Presbyterian - Weill Cornell Medicine
  4. David Naeger; Denver Health; University of Colorado
To determine how residents prepare for the Core Exam, their perceived weaknesses versus actual performance, and the value of “hot-seat” style case conferences.

Materials and Methods:
In this IRB exempt study, an anonymous survey was sent to PGY-5 (R4) radiology residents at 4 academic institutions asking about study habits for the ABR Core Examination. The survey also asked about perceived value of "hot-seat" style case conferences as well as perceived personal areas of weaknesses prior to the Core Exam compared to actual performance. Responses were recorded approximately 8 months after the Core Exam.

The response rate was 26/44 (59%). The most commonly used resources were online multiple-choice questions (24/26), dedicated Core review books (24/26), and printed multiple-choice question books (19/26). On average, residents spent 43% of their study time using multiple choice questions, 31% of their time on dedicated Core review books, and 10% of their time reviewing internally generated content (notes and lecture slides). All residents reported that “hot-seat” style case conferences were still given and most (69%) thought they were somewhat or very helpful. Residents reported they most sought out study material in Physics, Noninterpretative Skills, and Nuclear Medicine. Right before the exam they felt the least prepared on Interventional Radiology, Noninterpretative Skills, and Physics. Based on Core Exam results feedback, they performed the worst on Interventional Radiology, Breast Imaging, and Thoracic Imaging.

Residents spend a majority of their study period using dedicated Core review books and reviewing multiple-choice questions. Despite the MCQ format of the new boards, a majority of resident found the “hot-seat” style case conferences useful. Residents overestimated the difficulty of the Physics and Noninterpretive Skills sections, and underestimated the difficulty of multiple clinical subspecialty sections. The 2019 Core Exam had a failure rate of nearly 15%. Adequate preparation for the exam remains an important concern for residents and residency programs across the country. Understanding how residents are preparing for the exam and how their perceived weaknesses compared to actual performance may help to address gaps in exam preparation.