bigradquestions

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Many people don't actually read the terms and conditions of websites, but I took the time to do so for the updated terms the ABR is requiring all candidates and diplomates to sign. The agreement is pasted below in its entirety, but the bottom line is:

1. You agree that they can change the terms and conditions at any time.

2. Anonymous individuals at the ABR may ask questions about your "moral or ethical character" from other anonymous individuals, and your board certification can be revoked based upon anonymous accusations.

3. The ABR may change the MOC process at any time without notice to you, but you are responsible for knowing any changes they make.

4. Of course, the ABR requires you to waive the use of the courts for any remedy.

Anyone have any comments/concerns?



I hereby register with the American Board of Radiology, Inc. (hereinafter the "Board" or "ABR") for its Maintenance of Certification (MOC) process, in accordance with and subject to the policies, rules and regulations and the Bylaws of the Board, as they may be amended from time to time.

  • By entering into this Agreement for Diplomates (hereinafter the "Agreement"), I pledge myself to the highest ethical standards in the practice of my discipline.

  • I agree to disqualification from examination or from renewal of a certificate in the event that any of the statements herein made by me are false, or if I violate any of the policies, rules and regulations, or the Bylaws of the Board.

I recognize the trustees of the Board as the sole and only judge of my qualifications to receive and to retain a certificate issued by the Board. I understand and agree that as a diplomate of the Board, I have the responsibility to supply the Board with information adequate for the Board's proper evaluation of my character and my credentials.

  • Additionally, I hereby request and authorize any hospital or medical or professional organization of which I am a member, have been a member, or to which I have applied for membership, and any person who may have information which is deemed by the Board to be material to its evaluation of my registration or certification, to provide such information to representatives of the Board upon their request. I agree that communication of any nature made to the Board regarding my registration or certification may be made in confidence and shall not be made available to me under any circumstances. I hereby release from liability any hospital, medical staff, medical or professional organization or person, and the Board and its trustees and other representatives, from liability for acts performed in good faith and without malice in connection with the provision, collection, or evaluation of information or opinions, whether or not requested or solicited by the Board in connection with my registration or certification.

I understand and agree that in consideration of my registration, my moral, ethical and professional standing will be reviewed and assessed by the Board; that the Board may make inquiry of the persons named in my registration form and of such other persons and entities as the Board deems appropriate with respect to my moral, ethical and professional standing; that if information is received which would adversely affect my registration, I will be so advised and given an opportunity to rebut such allegations, but I will not be advised as to the identity of any individual or entity who has furnished adverse information concerning me; and that all statements and other information furnished to the Board in connection with such inquiry shall be confidential, and not subject to examination by me or by anyone acting on my behalf.

  • I agree that I will not use any litigation process, subpoena or other means to cause or attempt to cause any disclosure of the contents of any registration form, including my own, or any proceedings of any committee's evaluation of such registration form or of my certification, whether such disclosure is by operation of law or otherwise.

  • I accept that the Board determines admissibility to all MOC examinations, and that each examination is supervised by proctors who are responsible to the Board and are empowered by the Board to ensure that the examination is conducted ethically and in accordance with the rules of the Board. I understand that I must bring government-issued photo identification to any examination that I attend. Such government-issued photo identification includes one of the following: state-issued driver's license, military ID, passport, or state-issued ID.

  • I give my consent to be photographed and to the collection of my biometric data, which the Board will use solely for the purpose of confirming my identity as the eligible examinee.

  • I understand that no pager, recorder, camera, PDA, cellular phone, or any device that has the capability to record or transmit pictures, text, or sound can be brought to the examination; and that I am not permitted to bring into the examination any notes, scratch paper, textbooks, calculators or other reference materials. I further understand that any irregular behavior before, during or after the examination, such as copying answers, sharing information about specific questions or answers, using notes during any examination, or otherwise giving or obtaining unauthorized information or aid - evidenced by observation, statistical analysis of answers, or otherwise - on any portion of the examination will constitute grounds for the invalidation of my examination, and may lead to my being judged unacceptable for certification by the Board.

  • I recognize that all ABR examination materials are copyrighted as the sole property of the Board and must not be removed from the test area or reproduced, in whole or in part, through memorization or by any other means, and that any reproduction of copyrighted material is a federal offense, and may also subject me to discipline by the Board in accordance with its policies, rules and regulations. In the event the Board conducts a hearing into an examination irregularity at which I am either the subject of the investigation or a witness to the actions of one or more other examinees, I will cooperate fully with the Board, including appearing at any hearing and providing testimony.

  • I consent to have my name and demographic data (including type and date of all ABR certifications and maintenance of certification status) included in any list or directory in which the names of diplomates of the specialty boards are published. I agree that the Board is not liable for information provided to the medical community or to the public regarding my certification status, and I further agree that I will promptly notify the Board of any error or omissions in such information.

  • I understand and agree that the continued validity of my certificate will be contingent upon my meeting the requirements of the Maintenance of Certification Program (ABR-MOC) administered by the Board, as amended from time to time. I understand that the ABR-MOC program is designed to monitor my professional standing, lifelong learning and self-assessment, cognitive expertise, and practice quality improvement, each an MOC component for which I am responsible. I agree to participate in ABR-MOC in accordance with and subject to stated policies, rules and regulations, as amended from time to time, including timely payment of fees. The Board does not undertake any responsibility to provide individual diplomates with notice of changes to MOC policies. I further understand it is my responsibility to stay informed regarding all aspects of the MOC program and my progress therein, through my personal data base and the ABR website. I will keep truthful and accurate records of my participation in the MOC program, and I will promptly advise the Board of any change of my current contact information.

I understand that it may be necessary to revise and update this Agreement at a later date, and that as a condition of continued certification and/or participation in MOC, that I may be required to execute and return to the Board a revised Agreement, which shall replace and supersede the terms of this Agreement. The portions of this Agreement relating to examination security are subject to modification by the Board in the most current version of its Exam Security Policy posted on its website and/or in specific agreements that may be required in order to register for or to take an examination.

  • I waive and release and shall indemnify and hold harmless the Board and its trustees, directors, members, officers, committee members, employees, and agents from, against and with respect to any and all claims, losses, costs, expenses, damages, and judgments (including reasonable attorneys fees) alleged to have arisen from, out of, with respect to or in connection with any action which they, or any of them, take or fail to take as a result of or in connection with this Agreement, any examination conducted by the Board which I apply to take or take, the grade or grades given me on the examination and, if applicable, the failure of the Board to issue me a certificate or qualification or the Board's revocation, suspension or probation of any certificate or qualification previously issued to me and/or the Board’s notification of any interested parties of its actions.
 
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seper

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Board certification is important enough, so if one is threatened with revocation, the only thing to do is to sue.
 
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evilbooyaa

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What's the alternative? It's a monopoly and the ABR knows they have all us by the privates.
 
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RickyScott

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Sounds like if you are vocal or join something like that, perhaps an anonymous complaint will be generated to be reviewed by an anonymous committee whose precedings are undiscoverabe. Kafka would be proud.
 
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OTN

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So then the ABR says I'm not board-certified according to them. However, my local hospital does allow the NBPAS cert, as does my practice, so...I don't see why I would have to care.
 
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bigradquestions

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I believe this agreement is written in such an anti-diplomate way that it deserves a broader audience. The quote, "The Board does not undertake any responsibility to provide individual diplomates with notice of changes to MOC policies." represents a failure of the ABR ability to deliver a minimum standard of service. It is not unreasonable to expect a letter and/or E-mail to alert diplomates to changes to MOC.

The lack of due process regarding the handling of anonymous accusations is also particularly disturbing.

Is anyone in the twitterati willing to post the most egregious parts?

Yes, the ABR is a monopoly. But even monopolies strive for reasonable optics when it comes to customers.
 
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fiji128

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There is an anti trust lawsuit in process against the ABR from the radiology end. @ExitABR is a good twitter account twitter account to follow in regards to what's happening with that stuff. The above terms of service are ridiculous and I am sure the ABR will loose any lawsuit as so many other professional organizations already have. It would be nice if Rad Onc or ASTRO would for once take a leadership role on something like this that effects so many of its members but not rocking the boat against any establishment type organization and just doing as you are told seems to be part of our professional DNA.

http://www.medtees.com/content/SivavABRAmendedComplaint.pdf

From the lawsuit: The ABR has collected to date approximately $90,000,000 in MOC annual fees. That's really what all of this is about.
 
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scarbrtj

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just doing as you are told seems to be part of our professional DNA.
The peer pressure to do what you're told, and the friction that comes from doing otherwise, is pretty intense. True maybe nowhere in medicine more than radiation oncology—a specialty that hitherto nabbed the best-'n-brightest, put them through four year residencies (and board exams wholly non-germane to clinical care) only to deposit them in academic satellites to read treatment recipe cookbooks handed down from far-flung motherships. But there are numerous times in history where a cohort finally got fed up and just said "No." #MeToo is sort of one example. Of course the risk is we could all wind up like, say, Gabriel. He failed because he couldn't rally enough co-conspirators; time will come we (and not just rad oncs) will I think. No smart group of people can stay this dumb forever!
 
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Carotenoid

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The peer pressure to do what you're told, and the friction that comes from doing otherwise, is pretty intense. True maybe nowhere in medicine more than radiation oncology—a specialty that hitherto nabbed the best-'n-brightest, put them through four year residencies (and board exams wholly non-germane to clinical care) only to deposit them in academic satellites to read treatment recipe cookbooks handed down from far-flung motherships. But there are numerous times in history where a cohort finally got fed up and just said "No." #MeToo is sort of one example. Of course the risk is we could all wind up like, say, Gabriel. He failed because he couldn't rally enough co-conspirators; time will come we (and not just rad oncs) will I think. No smart group of people can stay this dumb forever!
I'd be up for some mischief!
 
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Neuronix

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The peer pressure to do what you're told, and the friction that comes from doing otherwise, is pretty intense. True maybe nowhere in medicine more than radiation oncology—a specialty that hitherto nabbed the best-'n-brightest, put them through four year residencies (and board exams wholly non-germane to clinical care) only to deposit them in academic satellites to read treatment recipe cookbooks handed down from far-flung motherships. But there are numerous times in history where a cohort finally got fed up and just said "No." #MeToo is sort of one example. Of course the risk is we could all wind up like, say, Gabriel. He failed because he couldn't rally enough co-conspirators; time will come we (and not just rad oncs) will I think. No smart group of people can stay this dumb forever!

I feel like I just read the intro to Rad Onc Fight Club.
 
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RickyScott

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Think of some of the twitterati who must have such vivid fantasies about serving on these ABR committees doling out discipline and examining anonymous complaints: Drew M, Evan T, Percy L, Subatomicdoc and their ilk?
 
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bigradquestions

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Update: The ABR has addressed some of the concerns of outraged diplomates... But not most of them. Still included are the outrageous items that anonymous individuals at the ABR may ask questions about your "moral or ethical character," and your board certification can be revoked based upon anonymous accusations; and the ABR may change the MOC process at any time without notice to you, but you are responsible for knowing any changes they make.

It's interesting that they are calling the original agreement an "error." This either means that the organization is relatively incompetent (since such legalese would undoubtedly need to be vetted at the executive level); or it's simply a lie, which is insulting to diplomates in general. I would favor the latter.

If this isn't a consistent with a vote of no confidence for the ABR, I don't know what is.



Dear Diplomate:

As part of your enrollment in the ABR’s Maintenance of Certification (MOC) and associated interactions with our website, periodic renewals of user agreements are needed to codify the understanding of the limitations of usage of the materials and the extent of liability. This is especially important in establishing the security of the content used in assessment, in order to maintain a secure, valid, and fair process.



In March, an error in the creation of the agreement resulted in the posting of an incorrect document, with more restrictive language than was intended. Specifically, our request for those enrolled in MOC to waive certain legal rights was neither reasonable nor necessary.



A revised document has since been implemented at https://myabr.theabr.org/moc-agreement. After discussion with counsel, acknowledging that the new language is far less stringent, this will supplant the original agreement for those who have already signed. Alternatively, these individuals may choose to sign the new agreement, but it is not required.



In view of the increasing administrative requirements inherent in the daily practice of medical practitioners, the ABR has an obligation to lessen such burdens whenever possible. We apologize for the error and hope to learn from it. No process is perfect, but we can and should continuously improve our processes based not only on internal quality control but also on feedback from our stakeholders, especially the radiology and physics professionals we are privileged to serve.



Sincerely,



Brent J. Wagner, MD

ABR President



Valerie P. Jackson, MD

ABR Executive Director
 
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thecarbonionangle

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Update: The ABR has addressed some of the concerns of outraged diplomates... But not most of them. Still included are the outrageous items that anonymous individuals at the ABR may ask questions about your "moral or ethical character," and your board certification can be revoked based upon anonymous accusations; and the ABR may change the MOC process at any time without notice to you, but you are responsible for knowing any changes they make.

It's interesting that they are calling the original agreement an "error." This either means that the organization is relatively incompetent (since such legalese would undoubtedly need to be vetted at the executive level); or it's simply a lie, which is insulting to diplomates in general. I would favor the latter.

If this isn't a consistent with a vote of no confidence for the ABR, I don't know what is.



Dear Diplomate:

As part of your enrollment in the ABR’s Maintenance of Certification (MOC) and associated interactions with our website, periodic renewals of user agreements are needed to codify the understanding of the limitations of usage of the materials and the extent of liability. This is especially important in establishing the security of the content used in assessment, in order to maintain a secure, valid, and fair process.



In March, an error in the creation of the agreement resulted in the posting of an incorrect document, with more restrictive language than was intended. Specifically, our request for those enrolled in MOC to waive certain legal rights was neither reasonable nor necessary.



A revised document has since been implemented at https://myabr.theabr.org/moc-agreement. After discussion with counsel, acknowledging that the new language is far less stringent, this will supplant the original agreement for those who have already signed. Alternatively, these individuals may choose to sign the new agreement, but it is not required.



In view of the increasing administrative requirements inherent in the daily practice of medical practitioners, the ABR has an obligation to lessen such burdens whenever possible. We apologize for the error and hope to learn from it. No process is perfect, but we can and should continuously improve our processes based not only on internal quality control but also on feedback from our stakeholders, especially the radiology and physics professionals we are privileged to serve.



Sincerely,



Brent J. Wagner, MD

ABR President



Valerie P. Jackson, MD

ABR Executive Director

disgusting stuff. I really hate the ABR.
 

fiji128

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I noticed a few weeks back while doing my MOC weekly questions I had to resign some document. Of course you basically have no choice if you want/need to maintain your board certification for employment. Then I got that ridiculous email yesterday about "an error in the creation of the agreement resulted in the posting of an incorrect document, with more restrictive language than was intended."

The ABR and its "leadership" is a total joke. It has basically become a mafia shake down type of operation to funnel money to a top few incompetents. I know this field is really big on "prestige" but I think it is almost borderline unethical to donate your time and effort to such an organization at this point, ie all the people conducting oral exams and writing questions ect....

Just one more example of the total rot that exist at the top of this field.
 
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fiji128

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You have an important notification.
  • The updated version of the MOC Agreement is now available. As you have already signed the original version, you are not required to sign the new one. However, if you would like to view and/or sign the updated version, please click here. (Dismiss)
So keep the super restrictive MOC Agreement if you prefer. And of course their link to sign the new one isn't currently working.

Wouldn't expect anything less from the ABR.
 
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thecarbonionangle

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You have an important notification.
  • The updated version of the MOC Agreement is now available. As you have already signed the original version, you are not required to sign the new one. However, if you would like to view and/or sign the updated version, please click here. (Dismiss)
So keep the super restrictive MOC Agreement if you prefer. And of course their link to sign the new one isn't currently working.

Wouldn't expect anything less from the ABR.

you’re welcome,sir!
 

KHE88

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The ABR and its "leadership" is a total joke. It has basically become a mafia shake down type of operation to funnel money to a top few incompetents.

It really is just a protection racket when you think about it. The difference is that Lisa Kachnic doesn't take a baseball bat to your knees if you don't pay up. But the end result is the same. If you don't pay up and participate in their racket, you can't run your business.

Hopefully the antitrust lawsuits will eventually get these f------
 
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is there any material change?
Not really, but they removed some of the language denying your right to take legal action.

I'm no lawyer, but I surmise this may have been a surreptitious backdoor attempt to prevent class action lawsuits, which sparked a mild backlash.

The totality of the situation seems hopeless since they have monopoly power and have reserved the right to change the terms and conditions at any time without notice to you.
 

seper

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So I guess it's best to sign the new one. Thanks

Not really, but they removed some of the language denying your right to take legal action.

I'm no lawyer, but I surmise this may have been a surreptitious backdoor attempt to prevent class action lawsuits.
 

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