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LETTER TO THE EDITOR  
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 206-207
Overseas exams - Perception of audience in a conference symposium: A survey


Department of Radiodiagnosis, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

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Date of Web Publication27-Apr-2015
 

How to cite this article:
Therakathu J, Keshava SN, Thippeswamy PB, Chandramohan A. Overseas exams - Perception of audience in a conference symposium: A survey. Indian J Radiol Imaging 2015;25:206-7

How to cite this URL:
Therakathu J, Keshava SN, Thippeswamy PB, Chandramohan A. Overseas exams - Perception of audience in a conference symposium: A survey. Indian J Radiol Imaging [serial online] 2015 [cited 2020 Apr 10];25:206-7. Available from: http://www.ijri.org/text.asp?2015/25/2/206/155883
Dear Sir,

There is an increasing trend for radiologists trained in India to attempt international exams. The ever-increasing number of preparatory courses conducted in India, which are dedicated to these exams, serves as a testimonial for the same. But clearing these exams is challenging due to difference in pattern of Indian exams compared to overseas exams, inadequate information regarding the method of preparation, large expenditure, and the need to travel overseas to take these exams.

We conducted a panel discussion on how and why to prepare for overseas exam during the State Annual Conference of Indian Radiological and Imaging Association (IRIA). Our panelists were Indian radiologists who had cleared one or more of international radiology exams and had experience working abroad (UK, USA, and Australia). Some of them were faculty in the Fellow of Royal College of Radiology (FRCR) training courses conducted in India. The discussion covered the common overseas exams, pattern of questions, required study material, the exam training courses in India and abroad, and the career prospects one can expect after having cleared these exams. Around 35 delegates attended the session.

At the start of the discussion, the participants were given a questionnaire [Figure 1]. The objective of the questionnaire was to identify the exams in which they were interested, the method of study, the reasons for interest in foreign exams, sources of information, and perceived difficulties during preparation. Informed consent was obtained from all participants and 27 of them returned the questionnaire. Out of them, 17 (63%) were post graduate students and 10 (37%) were consultants. Twenty-two (84%) participants were interested in FRCR exam and seven (34%) in Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (FRANZCR) exam. Seven (34%) were interested in acquiring the degree of American Board of Radiology (ABR). Both consultants and post graduate students were more interested in the FRCR exam (consultants- 8/10, post graduates- 14/17). Majority (84%) read textbooks and solved (58%) multiple choice questions (MCQs). A third of the participants (8/27) used online material and attended specialized courses in India. Very few attended [2 (8%)] overseas training courses. Majority (63%) was interested in only a short career overseas and wanted to return to India. Reasons for attempting foreign exams included job security in the future [4 (15%)], academic interest [19 (70%)], better financial prospects [5 (19%)] and telereporting [3 (11%)]. They obtained information regarding the exams from friends (56%), internet (48%), and teachers (33%). Overseas exams were perceived as an expensive affair by 12 (48%) and a difficult task by 5 (20%) participants. Eleven (44%) thought that the available information was inadequate and 4 (16%) perceived difficulty in coping with the new environment.
Figure 1: The questionnaire used for the survey

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Based on this survey, the overwhelming majority of participants were interested in the UK-based FRCR exam. Also, it was interesting to note that most of the delegates wanted to return to India after a short career abroad. As expected, the motivations for attempting these exams were varied including academic interest and financial security. The majority were following textbooks rather than MCQ books for preparation. Similarly, only a third of the participants had attended specialized training courses. These were surprising in light of the fact that the FRCR exam itself is MCQ based and the practical exam follows a different model from the Indian system.

Some studies evaluating the candidates' experience of FRCR exam have been published. [1] But no previous publication relating to exam preparation was found. Information obtained from this questionnaire-based survey is limited due to small sample size and may not represent all India trends. But we hope that results obtained in this survey will be a preliminary guide to those interested in attempting the foreign exams and will act as a base for further discussions.

 
   References Top

1.
Yeung A, Booth TC, Jacob K, McCoubrie P, McKnight L. The FRCR 2B examination: A survey of candidate perceptions and experiences. Clin Radiol 2011;66:412-9.  Back to cited text no. 1
    

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Correspondence Address:
Jacob Therakathu
Department of Radiodiagnosis, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0971-3026.155883

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