In three days I will be in the middle of the first part of the ABOMR examination. It allows me to become a board certified (as opposed to just certified) oral and maxillofacial radiologist. To become board certified, the examination is really split into two parts. First part is the written examination, which covers radiation physics, techniques and radiobiology. The second part is the diagnostic part which is a written and oral examination. The exams are administered during the yearly academy meetings and so they are generally one year apart. For the people who are in a two year residency… they have to wait a full year before actually becoming board certified. For the people involved in a three year residency, I believe they graduate a few months before doing the second part.
I have been studying in preparation for the first part and to be honest I cannot wait to be done with it. It is a very stressful exam considering that most people will have to fly, book a hotel, rent a car, etc… in order to be able to sit for the exam. This studying is definitely starting to get to me, I was always one of those people that didn’t study. Oddly enough, I have also managed to find every single possible way to procrastinate, for example, writing this post. I guess all exams go this way. All I know is I’m ready to be done.
I really only have one major complaint about this exam. The cost of the exam when you add up flights and hotel generally runs about 2k and the absolutely inefficient way of administering it. Seems very pricey considering most residents are just that… residents. We are not exactly rolling in money. Personally I would prefer to pay a little extra for the actual exam costs and be able to take the exam any time of the year in a local Prometrics center and forgo the travel expenses. Much like most dental and specialty boards are administered. If I fail, I can retake the examination whenever I feel ready to do so and I don’t have to worry about a trip. Currently, it seems archaic for a specialty that is so technologically driven to administer it this way.