ABR cancels April exams amid coronavirus outbreak

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Add the American Board of Radiology (ABR) to the list of healthcare organizations that are canceling upcoming events. The ABR said that its April exams would be canceled, while at the same time confirming that exams later in the year would be held as planned.

In a March 5 announcement, the ABR said that after a meeting of its board the group decided to cancel the Diagnostic Radiology (DR) Certifying Exam and the Radioisotope Safety Exam (RISE) tests that had been scheduled for April 6 in Tucson, AZ. Candidates for the April exam will be moved to the fall edition of the test with no penalty, according to the ABR.

In addition, the ABR said it would be postponing the Medical Physics (MP) Oral Exam that had been scheduled for April 26-29 in Tucson. The ABR will be notifying exam candidates shortly about the new date of the exam.

Finally, the Radiation Oncology (RO) oral exam scheduled for May 3-5 in Tucson also would be postponed. The ABR will be notifying candidates soon about a new exam date.

Going forward as scheduled are the DR Core Exam, scheduled for May 28-29 and June 1-2, with tests administered in Tucson and Chicago. Registration for the exam will be opening soon, and the ABR said it will email eligible candidates with a save-the-date message.

At the same time, the ABR is developing contingency plans in the event of a disruption to the Core Exam, and it said it would post regular updates on its website. The group also noted that many airlines are either waiving flight cancellation fees or are considering doing so.

"As always, our primary concern is for the health and well-being of our candidates, staff, and the public," the ABR noted.

The ABR is only the latest of a number of organizations that have canceled events due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus disease. On March 3, the European Congress of Radiology (ECR) was postponed to July, while the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) canceled its annual meeting, scheduled to start March 9. Several smaller meetings also have been canceled or postponed.

What's more, many radiology vendors have announced that they will not allow their employees to travel to conferences during the month of March. Reports have also surfaced of hospitals prohibiting their healthcare staff to travel as they prepare for more coronavirus infections.

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