With the upcoming ABR Physics exams this summer, we have received several questions in regards to how to prepare. If you are taking Part 1 this summer, concentrate on that; don’t concern yourself with Parts 2 and the Oral examination (just yet). That said, the first thing you will want to do is review the topics covered on Part 1 of the physics exam. Fortunately, the ABR has laid out the subjects you will be tested on in the Initial Certification Study Guide. The ABR has yet (as far as we have heard) to veer from those topics, so you will not be tested on subjects outside their study guide. In fact, the guide is quite accurate in terms of the scope of the questions you will be asked. The next thing you will want to do is gather resources that cover those topics well.
The internet is strewn with information that is helpful in prepping; the resources are scattered through the Web and take time to find. One site worth bookmarking provides lecture notes on several physics topics listed in the Initial Certification Study Guide as well as a few practice questions. Another site with lecture notes on relevant topics is the course site for Diagnostic Radiology Imaging Physics at UW. More practice question can be found here and here (though at this site, you will have to register to access the free tests).
Your main allies will be your own lecture notes and good prep books. While cross-referencing is always helpful, the following texts have been helpful to other students who took the ABR Part 1 Physics exam in the past. The first is “Review of Radiologic Physics” by Walter Huda. The book is 272 pages with over 500 practice questions, and the material covered is high-yield. The next two texts are pricey, but serve as good reference texts to have in your possession. They are “The Essential Physics of Medical Imaging” by Bushberg et al and “Medical Imaging Physics” by William Hendee and E. Russell Ritenour. We have also heard that reviewing Raphex exam questions is also key in preparing. There are still a few copies of the very old exams available for purchase on Amazon.com. You can also find copies of recent exams for free on the Web: Raphex 2006 Questions and Answers, Raphex 1998 Questions, Raphex 1997 Questions and the Raphex 1997 Answers.
Last, but certainly not least, talk to people who have taken the exam within the last few years. They will be able to tell you what the ABR has been stressing on the exam these days. Ask them how they prepped and what they found to be useful. Start early, and with the resources listed above in addition to those you locate on your own, you should be well-prepared to tackle Part 1 with ease and success.
Readers who have been us since the launch of MDPhysics.com in March 2009 know that we started with just a weblog. Shortly thereafter, we added a listing of funding opportunities, a medical physics job board as well as a calendar of medical physics events. In addition, a physics classifieds section has been in the works for awhile, and now with coding complete, we’re excited to add this new functionality to the site. As always, a direct link to the page can be found in the navigation bar at the top of the site. Classifieds listings, like job listings, are free. All ads expire after 50 days and can be removed at anytime using an access code you receive via email. Read more