Subspecialties for Diagnostic Radiology

Requirements and Registration

Last verified on May 1, 2018


You may successfully complete one year of training in a nuclear radiology fellowship program or one year of training in a nuclear medicine residency program accredited by the ACGME or the RCPSC (Canada). Alternatively, with prior approval, you may successfully complete the ABR 16-month pathway in nuclear radiology. You will have 10 years after successfully completing your subspecialty training to obtain certification.
Please comply with the following requirements:
  • The program director must document your successful completion of nuclear radiology fellowship training, nuclear medicine residency training, or the 16-month pathway during diagnostic radiology residency.
  • You must provide evidence of a current state medical license with a future expiration date.
  • Before submitting a subspecialty registration, you must pay any outstanding ABR fees in full.


The standard registration window for the Nuclear Radiology Subspecialty Exam is February 1 through April 30. Please check back after February 1, 2019, for the 2019 application.

16-Month Pathway to Dual Certification

in Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Radiology

The ABR has approved conditions and requirements for a pathway leading to eligibility for both primary certification in diagnostic radiology and subspecialty certification in nuclear radiology. 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-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 clinical pre-DR residency (e.g., PGY-1 clinical year or other residency training) months of experience in nuclear radiology or nuclear medicine may count toward the 16 months if performed at an institution with an ACGME-accredited DR program.
Four months of nuclear radiology or nuclear medicine are required of every resident in a diagnostic radiology or diagnostic/interventional radiology program, and count toward the 16-months. 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 nuclear radiology-related, nuclear medicine-related, and/or molecular imaging-related field (e.g., abdominal/cardiovascular/ musculoskeletal/thoracic radiology, head and neck/ neuroradiology, interventional radiology, non-isotopic molecular imaging, oncologic imaging). Alternatively, one or more of these four months may be spent in dedicated nuclear radiology or nuclear medicine experiences.

What rotations will be considered "NR/NM/MI-related"?

As long as there is 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., Y-90 microspheres). If a program is fortunate enough to have a PET/MR hybrid unit, one or more rotations on that service would certainly fit the bill. The nuclear radiology trustee, assisted by a group of nuclear radiology advisors, will evaluate the proposed training plan and make the determination.
The application form is located here.
The Sponsoring Department Agreement (SDA) form will require the signature of the program director. Click here for the form.  

Recognition and MOC


Recognition of Successful Diplomates

Successful ABR Diplomates are awarded a continuous ABR subspecialty certificate in nuclear radiology.

Maintenance of Certification

Continuous subspecialty certification in nuclear 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.
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