A review of FCRad Diag (SA) examination results over ten years.
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Over the past few decades, there have been major technological advancements in the field of diagnostic radiology, as imaging has become indispensible to patient diagnosis and management. Not only are multiple imaging modalities now available, but digital image capturing, storage, and transmission have resulted in a filmless modern hospital setting. Coupled with the ever-widening spectrum of disease, radiologists require a broader and more detailed knowledge base, while facing an increased workload. Consequently, South African postgraduate radiology training programmes have had to adapt. Current radiological examination formats need to encompass multiple imaging modalities, a digital platform, a wider disease spectrum, and a more pressured work environment. In addition, continued research into the field of medical education has lead to several key roleplayers desiring an evaluation of the current examination format, as there is, to date, a profound lack of research on this topic in the South African context. The purpose of this retrospective audit and historical study was to determine whether recent changes in the formats of the FCRadDiag (SA) examinations have impacted on candidate success rates, as well as determining which formats created the most impact on candidate success rates. This was done by evaluating the candidate results for the Part I and II College of Radiology examinations over a ten-year period from September 2003 to March 2013, and comparing the success rates of candidates before and after several key changes in the examination format over this time period. It is hoped that this information will serve as a useful guide to medical educators and radiology examiners in the College of Radiology in the development of a fair, valid and reliable examination structure; as well as directing radiology examinees with the development of a blueprint of radiology examinations which could be used to guide training, learning and examination preparation.