Army Medical Students Cheated on Rad Board Exam, CNN Reports

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Medical students at the military’s largest medical residency program in the country were instructed to cheat on the certification tests with the American Board of Radiology for about the past decade, according to an investigative report aired Friday on CNN.

Matthew Webb, MD, who completed the residency program at Brooke Army Medical Center, showed CNN reporters an ever-growing database on the military’s own Web site consisting of previous exams from the Board of Radiology.

“It was just accepted,” Webb tells CNN.

In a statement to reporters, officials at the medical school acknowledged that faculty and program directors were aware of the use of “recalled” tests, named for the way students memorized the answers.

“A small number arranged the use of recalled tests as one of several tools to improve medical knowledge and prepare for the exam,” the Army wrote to CNN in a statement.

Gary Becker, MD, executive director of the American Board of Radiology, tells CNN he would absolutely term what they did cheating. Becker also acknowledged the board hadn’t changed its test for about 10 years, but was doing so now.

“We’re outraged by this,” Becker tells CNN.

As part of the report, CNN journalists attended the RSNA 2011 conference in Chicago where they reportedly spoke off camera with James Thrall, chief of radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, which is associated with Harvard Medical School.

Thrall tells CNN that cheating on the primary certification test to become a radiologist in America is widespread at programs throughout the country.

For the full report click here.