Subspecialties for Diagnostic Radiology

16-Month Pathway to Dual Certification

in Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Radiology

Last verified on November 22, 2019


  • A resident who has a total of 16 months of experience in nuclear radiology or nuclear medicine during the 48-month diagnostic radiology residency may qualify for the ABR’s subspecialty certificate in nuclear radiology.
  • To qualify for this pathway to subspecialty certification, all 16 months of experience must be in an ACGME- or RCPSC-accredited diagnostic radiology program; there is no requirement for a nuclear radiology fellowship or nuclear medicine residency program.
  • The 16 months may be completed at any time during the diagnostic radiology residency training; there is no requirement for consecutive months.
  • Up to two months of nuclear radiology or nuclear medicine clinical experience during pre-DR residency (e.g., PGY-1 clinical year or other residency training) may count toward the 16 months of experience if performed at an institution with an ACGME- or RCPSC-accredited DR program.
  • Four months of nuclear radiology or nuclear medicine are required of every resident in a DR or IR/DR program, and count toward the 16 months of experience. Eight additional months of dedicated nuclear radiology or nuclear medicine comprise 12 months.
  • At the discretion of the diagnostic radiology program director, up to four of the remaining months of training may be in a field related to nuclear radiology (NR), nuclear medicine (NM), and/or molecular imaging (MI). Examples of related fields include abdominal/cardiovascular/musculoskeletal/thoracic radiology, head and neck/ neuroradiology, interventional radiology, non-isotopic molecular imaging, and oncologic imaging. Alternatively, one or more of these four months may be spent in dedicated nuclear radiology or nuclear medicine experiences.

NR/NM/MI-related Rotations

  • As long as the rotation has substantial correlative exposure to NR/NM/MI content within the proposed clinical experiences, the proposed rotation(s) will likely be approved. For example, head and neck imaging generally includes a considerable number of head and neck cancer cases with relevant PET/CT and even SPECT/CT components.
  • Other such diagnostic rotations could include abdominal, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, thoracic, neuroradiology, non-isotopic MI, and oncologic imaging, as well as vascular and interventional radiology (e.g., 90Y microspheres).
  • If a program has a PET/MR hybrid unit, one or more rotations on that service would qualify. The nuclear radiology trustee, assisted by a group of nuclear radiology advisors, will evaluate the proposed training plan and make a determination.


Approved candidates follow the same exam schedule as candidates for the standard pathway in diagnostic radiology and a subspecialty in nuclear radiology.

Recognition of Successful Candidates

Successful candidates are awarded a continuous ABR specialty certificate in diagnostic radiology and a subspecialty certificate in nuclear radiology.

Board Eligibility

  • For diagnostic radiology, see Board Eligibility Policy for details.
  • Diplomates who successfully completed their training before 2019 will have 10 calendar years or until December 31, 2024, whichever comes first, to obtain certification. Those who complete their training in 2019 or later will have six calendar years.
The application form is located here.
The Sponsoring Department Agreement (SDA) form will require the signature of the program director and the nuclear radiology/nuclear medicine preceptor. Click here for the form.