Initial Certification for Diagnostic Radiology

Initial Certification

Last verified on May 20, 2024
As candidates progress through their residency and after completion of training, they will take two exams to gain initial certification in diagnostic radiology: the Qualifying (Core) Exam and the Certifying Exam.

The Exams

The Qualifying (Core) Exam, offered after 36 months of residency training, is image rich and computer based; it covers 16 subspecialty and modality categories.
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.
Radioisotope Safety Content (RISC) is integrated into the Qualifying (Core) and Certifying exams. Candidates who have submitted the appropriate documentation, receive a passing score on the RISC, and achieve certification by 12/31/2023 will be given the Authorized User-Eligible (AU-E) designation on their certificate. The RISC result will not affect the pass results for either the Qualifying (Core) or Certifying exam.
Please see the Diagnostic Radiology Calendar for future exam dates.  

Transition to Remote DR Oral Certifying Exam

Beginning in calendar year 2028 and first applying to DR residents completing training in June 2027 (entering their R1 year in July 2023), the certifying exam for DR will be the new DR Oral Exam. From that point on, a candidate’s first opportunity to take the new DR Oral Exam will be the calendar year following completion of their DR residency. All DR candidates taking the DR Certifying Exam after 2027 will be required to take the new DR Oral Exam regardless of when they completed residency training. We anticipate having two exam administrations per year. For more information and updates pertaining to the new DR Oral exam, please visit the New Diagnostic Radiology Oral Exam page.  

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.

Continuing Certification (MOC)

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