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High success rate for the European Diploma in Radiology examination in Spain

High success rate for the European Diploma in Radiology examination in Spain

Thirty candidates sat the European Diploma in Radiology (EDiR) examination held at the Spanish Society of Medical Radiology (SERAM) annual meeting last May in Granada, Spain, demonstrating the growing popularity of this international examination.
The pass rate rose to 83%, reflecting the high level of the candidates, who praised the organisation and quality of the examination. The diploma aims to provide candidates with an objective test of general radiology knowledge and harmonise education throughout Europe by setting a standard based on the European Society of Radiology's (ESR) European Training Charter. Board certified radiologists and residents in their fifth year are eligible to take the examination, which is designed to boost their careers by offering further international recognition of their curriculum vitae and facilitating migration.
The examination consists of a written and an oral part, both traditionally held in English. But for the first time, candidates in Granada were able to take the oral part in the language of the host country, reflecting the European Board of Radiology's (EBR) growing desire for a fair representation of Europe's different languages.
 
"We are concerned with the equal opportunities concept: if this is a European diploma, then it should be available in European languages other than English. Today it is not possible to offer the oral test in every language, but we are definitely thinking of introducing various languages in the future," said Professor András Palkó, member of the EBR and a regular oral examiner for the diploma.
All written parts remained in English. But organisers have been anxious to point out that the EDiR examination was not a language test. They believe that the success achieved in Granada proves that the message has gone through.
"This high success rate shows that the principle of the exam is better understood. I think that by now we have convinced the candidates that this is not a language exam, so it is not a problem if their English isn't fantastic. It is their general knowledge of radiology that matters," Palkó said.
Candidates praised the high standard of the examination, especially the pertinence of the assessment tools. They also enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and well-planned test.
"I had a very positive experience. Organisers and oral examiners were both very kind, and the atmosphere was very laid back," said a participant.
"The feedback survey handed out at the end of the examination reflects how advanced this examination is, and how intelligently the organisers are working to improve it," said another candidate.
Palkó stressed the importance of talking with the candidates during case discussion. "I use a case as a stepping stone. The candidates find the pathological condition and describe what they see, but what we ask them afterwards is very important, for instance "What would you do next? What is your experience with this condition?" etc. This is much more than just reading images. The aim is to better explore the knowledge of the candidate, even if a case is relatively simple," he said.
Palkó recommends aspiring candidates to consult the European training charter to see which areas and topics are covered by the MCQ, and to check example cases available on the EBR website. They should also revise the knowledge they acquired for their national board examination, he said.
"The EDiR is not only a certificate of excellence but also an original diploma, which not everyone has yet. It may become increasingly useful in helping people to find a job in the future. And maybe one day there will be a European board certification and then this will be valid as well," he added.
The examination in Granada is the last of four successful sessions, held previously at the European Congress of Radiology (ECR) and the French Congress of Radiology (Journées Françaises de Radiologie, JFR) in 2011, and ECR 2012. The flawless cooperation between the ESR/EBR and the national societies organising the congresses helps explain the smooth running of the session and the good results obtained by the candidates, Palkó believes.
The next diploma examination will be held at the JFR later this year, and at the ECR and the German Radiological Society's annual meeting in Germany in 2013.
Contact:
Mr. Benjamin OHR
European Board of Radiology
Phone: +43 1 533 40 64-0
E-Mail: benjamin.ohr@myEBR.org

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