Are NBME examination scores useful in selecting radiology residency candidates?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations


Rationale and Objectives. The quality of the graduates of radiology residency programs is powerfully affected by the quality of the candidates admitted to them, making the evaluation and ranking of residency applicants one of the most important tasks of radiology education. In the applicant evaluation process, evaluators frequently take into account applicants scores on the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) examination, operating on the implicit assumption that these scores help predict future performance as residents. The purpose of this study was to test that assumption. Materials and Methods. Using a data set consisting of information about 99 residents admitted over a period of 10 residency class years, the authors compared scores for parts I and II of the NBME examination with later results on the American Board of Radiology (ABR) written and oral examinations. Logistic regression was used to model differences in resident performance on the NBME and ABR examinations and to determine whether variance in ABR results could be predicted by variance in NBME examination scores. Results. The authors were unable to demonstrate any statistically significant value of NBME examination scores in predicting eventual performance on the ABR written and oral examinations. Conclusion. The authors attempt to validate the widespread practice of using NBME examination scores to evaluate and rank applicants to radiology residency programs demonstrated no discernible value for these scores in predicting the success of residents on the ABR examinations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)603-606
Number of pages4
JournalAcademic radiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2000


  • Education
  • Radiology and radiologists

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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