Open Access Research article

Can American College of Radiology in-training examination scores be used to predict Canadian radiology licensing examination results? A retrospective study

Trent H Orton1 and Matthew McInnes2*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medical Imaging at the Ottawa Hospital, University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine, Room C159, The Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus, 1053 Carling Avenue, Ottawa K1Y 4E9, Canada

2 Department of Medical Imaging at the Ottawa Hospital/ The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine, Room C159, The Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus, 1053 Carling Avenue, Ottawa K1Y 4E9, Canada

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BMC Medical Education 2013, 13:17  doi:10.1186/1472-6920-13-17

Published: 6 February 2013

Abstract

Background

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the relationship between American College of Radiology (ACR) in-training examination scores and performance on the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) radiology licensing examination.

Methods

Percentile ACR examination scores for 67 residents were obtained from 1995 to 2011 for four years of training and compared with results of the RCPSC examination. Mean ACR scores of residents who passed and residents who failed their RCPSC examination were compared with a t-test. ACR scores and licensing examination results were correlated. Logistic regression was used to predict the probability of failure given an individual’s ACR score. Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves were developed in order to estimate a threshold ACR score at or above which the risk of failure was negligible.

Results

The ACR scores between residents who passed their licensing exam and those who failed were significantly different. There was moderate correlation between ACR scores and exam results. Using ROC curves for each year of training, the threshold ACR scores at or above which there was a negligible risk of exam failure were 32, 42, 63, and 47 for training years 1, 2, 3 and 4 respectively. Logistic regression curves, with 95% confidence intervals, were plotted for each year of training to predict RCPSC exam results based on an individual’s ACR score.

Conclusions

ACR exam scores are a strong predictor of RCPSC examination performance. Percentile ACR scores can be used to identify residents at risk for future examination failure.

Keywords:
In-training examination; Licensing examination; Residency; Radiology