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Get the FAQs on the CIIP
The Certified Imaging Informatics Professional (CIIP) exam, administered by the American Board of Imaging Informatics (ABII), is a great way to formally showcase your knowledge and proficiency in imaging informatics. All radiology residents are automatically eligible to take the CIIP. When you sign up on the ABII website, you will complete a questionnaire that will determine your official eligibility. The exam fee is $500.
You do not need to be a part of a formal informatics program to take the exam. I was fortunate to have been a part of an Imaging Informatics Fellowship program at the University of Pennsylvania, but was not required to sit for the exam. The textbook for my fellowship program was Practical Imaging Informatics (ISBN 1441904832). Some chapters in the book were very useful for the exam, but many were outdated since it was published a decade ago. Society of Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM) members are able to get a discount on the book, and SIIM membership is free for radiology trainees.
I also signed up for the online version of the SIIM Imaging Informatics Professional Bootcamp, which I highly recommend. Content in these lectures was high yield, and the online practice exam was very useful. You also get a discount on the course if you are a SIIM member. But better yet, if you are able to attend the SIIM Annual Meeting in person, you can take the live version of the bootcamp, which is currently free for SIIM student members.
The exam really is an alphabet soup of abbreviations and acronyms. I made a list of every one I came across so I could easily review the list before the exam. I also looked around for additional resources or study material, but there wasn’t really anything else. The Practical Imaging Informatics textbook, SIIM Bootcamp, and your imaging knowledge as radiology residents should prepare you well for the exam. The exam is also for RTs and IT staff who do not have the clinical knowledge or go through the daily workflow of a radiologist, so some of the material may seem fairly obvious to radiology residents.
The actual test is computer-based with 150 multiple choice questions over two and a half hours. Few questions require you to check more than one answer. Maybe one or two require you to drag boxes and rearrange steps into the correct order. The exam is held at a Pearson testing center, which can be conveniently scheduled online. You can take the test at any date that the testing center can accommodate you. I was able to schedule the exam three weeks before my test date.
On test day, there is a brief tutorial to teach you how to use the system. This doesn’t affect your exam time. There is access to an on-screen calculator, if needed. Once you begin the exam, there are no scheduled breaks. You cannot skip any questions but can easily go back or flag a question for review later. The best part, in my opinion, is that you get instant feedback with a preliminary score once you end the exam. A passing score is 75. My final official score was released online about a week later on the ABII website and happened to be the same as my prelim score.
I hope this has been helpful. I want to thank my Imaging Informatics Fellowship Director, Tessa S. Cook MD, PhD, CIIP, for spreading her passion and encouraging interest in imaging informatics. Good luck with the CIIP exam!
Brian J. Park MD, MS, CIIP, is currently an Interventional Radiology fellow at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.