Initial Certification for Diagnostic Radiology

Initial Certification

Last verified on October 7, 2021
As candidates progress through their residency and after completion of training, they will take two exams to gain initial certification in diagnostic radiology: the Core Exam and the Certifying Exam.

The Exams

The Core Exam, offered after 36 months of residency training, is image rich and computer based; it covers 18 subspecialty and modality categories. Candidates must pass overall and in physics to receive a passing result.
The Certifying Exam, given approximately 15 months after completion of diagnostic residency training, is also computer based and image rich, and it includes four modules. Three modules are clinical practice areas and may be chosen by the examinee to fit his or her interests, experience, and training. The other module, Essentials of Diagnostic Radiology, is taken by all examinees.
Content for the Radioisotope Safety Exam (RISE) is integrated into the Core and Certifying exams. After a candidate passes the Certifying Exam, the RISE will be scored. Candidates who have submitted the appropriate documentation and receive a passing score on the RISE content will be given the Authorized User-Eligible (AU-E) designation on their certificate. The RISE result will not affect the pass results for either the Core or Certifying exam.

More Information

The ABR offers two Alternate Pathways to certification in diagnostic radiology.
Information is also available for Program Administration (Program Directors and Program Coordinators) and Credentialers and Practices.
See our Certificate FAQs.
For those who have completed residency and are seeking employment:
The ABR provides a letter clarifying the mandatory waiting period before certification may be earned. A resident may provide this letter with his or her application materials to a potential employer. Click here for a copy of the letter.

Recognition of Successful Candidates

Successful ABR Candidates are awarded a continuous ABR specialty certificate in diagnostic radiology.

Maintenance of Certification

Continuous certification in diagnostic radiology is contingent upon meeting the requirements of the ABR’s Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. For MOC program details, please see the MOC page.
For questions related to these or other board certification issues, please contact us at or (520) 790-2900.