Exam Policies for Exam Details

Board Eligibility Policy

Last verified on December 6, 2019
 

The period during which the ABR grants board eligible status to a candidate for certification extends until December 31 of the sixth full calendar year after the completion of training.

Termination dates for board eligibility status are listed below. Because a number of candidates have completed training and continued in the exam process under various previously announced policies, a transitional phase-in period is reflected where appropriate.

 

Board Eligibility Statuses

Candidates who have an approved registration with the ABR for purposes of certification are considered “enrolled, not yet eligible for certification.” After the requirements for board eligibility are met, the candidate is recognized as board eligible. If a candidate fails to achieve certification by the end of the board eligibility period, that individual is recognized as “not certified, not board eligible” indefinitely until such a time that the status changes.

 

DIAGNOSTIC RADIOLOGY (DR)

Six full calendar years from completion of an ACGME- or RCPSC-accredited training program.

RADIATION ONCOLOGY (RO)

Six full calendar years from completion of an ACGME- or RCPSC-accredited training program.

INTERVENTIONAL RADIOLOGY (IR)

1.  INTEGRATED TRAINING – Six full calendar years from completion of training.

 

2.  INDEPENDENT RESIDENCY – Six full calendar years from completion of a two-year IR Residency.

 

3.  TRADITIONAL (VIR FELLOWSHIP) – Six years or until 2024 depending on training completion; whichever comes first.

 

4.  TRANSITIONAL (VIR POST TRAINING) – Six years for training completed in 2019 or later; 12/31/2024 for training completed in 2018 or earlier.

SUBSPECIALTIES

Six years for training completed in 2019 or later; 12/31/2024 for training completed in 2018 or earlier.

MEDICAL PHYSICS (MP)

1.  Six full calendar years from completion of a CAMPEP-accredited residency program.

 

2.  Six full calendar years from approval for Part 2.

INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL SCHOOL GRADUATES (IMGs)

Six full calendar years after completion of the training period outlined in the Sponsoring Department Agreement.

 

Candidates failing to successfully complete the initial certification process within the board eligibility time period are no longer considered by the ABR to be board eligible, are no longer permitted to designate themselves as such for communications or credentialing purposes, and will no longer be reported as board eligible on the ABMS website (www.certificationmatters.org), on ABR websites, or in verification letters.

 

Additional circumstances that may result in loss of board eligibility:

Actions taken against a candidate by the ABR, which may occur due to a licensure or professionalism-related issue, may result in the premature removal of board eligibility either temporarily or permanently.

 

To return to board eligible status:

DR candidates must complete an additional year of completely supervised training in a department with an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited or Royal College of Physicians and Surgeon of Canada (RCPSC)-accredited DR residency program and sit for an exam annually.

  • RO candidates must take an additional year of training in a department with an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited or Royal College of Physicians and Surgeon of Canada (RCPSC)-accredited RO residency program and sit for an exam annually.
  • IR/DR candidates must take an additional year of training in a department with an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited or Royal College of Physicians and Surgeon of Canada (RCPSC)-accredited IR/DR residency program and sit for an exam annually.
  • MP candidates must obtain an additional year of training in a department that has a Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Program (CAMPEP)-accredited residency program and sit for an exam annually.

 

Additional year training details:

This additional year of training to return to board eligible status cannot begin until the current board eligibility period has ended or the final exam opportunity to attain initial certification has passed.

  • Exceptions to the timing of the start of training may be granted on a case-by-case basis by the discipline’s associate executive director (AED) as long as the candidate is willing to relinquish his or her board eligibility when the training begins.
  • Any additional nonapproved training occurring during the board eligibility period will not extend, reset, or in any way modify the board eligibility period.
  • The plan for this training year is department specific and must be approved by the department chair or the program director prior to submission to the ABR for approval; the discipline’s AED must put this approval in writing, and submission must occur before beginning the year of additional training.
  • At the end of the additional approved year, the program director or department chair must attest to satisfactory completion of the pre-approved experience.
  • After that attestation is provided to the ABR, the candidate may re-enter the certification process and again will be required to pass both the Qualifying Exam* and Certifying Exam during another six-year board eligible period.
  • If the requisite prior examinations were not passed previously (i.e., Part 1 for MP, Physics and Biology for RO), they must also be passed as part of the continued certification process.
  • To retain the designation of board eligibility after the year of additional training, a minimum of one of the required exams must be taken each year.

*Part 2 for MP, clinical exam for RO (if the cancer biology and physics Qualifying Exams have been passed previously), and Core Exam for DR.

 

General requirements for the year of training:

The year of training must be carried out on site at an ACGME-, RCPSC-, OR CAMPEP-accredited department and may not be carried out at any unsupervised satellite facility.

  • The period of training must encompass 12 consecutive months in the same department with an allowance for time off similar to that of other departmental trainees.
  • Time commitment for the period of training must be 1.0 FTE for the 12-month term.
  • Candidates may be assigned to any appointment designation at the preference of the host department and/or institution.
  • Candidates may be assigned teaching responsibilities consistent with the departmental and/or institutional practice for trainees, but they are not to be placed in a circumstance requiring them to supervise residents.
  • The period of training must be entirely clinical and may not include time devoted exclusively to basic or clinical research activities.
  • All training must be supervised by an ABR- or ABMP-certified or board eligible physician(s) or physicist(s).
  • Training in institutions, including pediatric hospitals, that are formal affiliates of ACGME- or CAMPEP-accredited institutions is allowed, with the same requirements for supervision and program participation.
  • The period of training must include participation in departmental conference and didactic activities.
  • Candidates not currently licensed by the NRC as an Authorized User (AU), a Radiation Safety Officer (RSO), or an Authorized Medial Physicist (AMP), who have completed the required training and have documented this training with the ABR within the past seven years, will be eligible to gain AU-eligible, RSO-eligible, or AMP-eligible status upon certification. If such training occurred more than seven years before certification, all requirements for AU, RSO, or AMP eligibility must be met during the training year and submitted to the ABR if the candidate desires an NRC status to be shown on his or her certificate.

 

Discipline-specific requirements for the year of training:

  • Diagnostic Radiology (DR)
    • The training may be in one or more than one subspecialty of DR, but all rotations must involve supervised interpretation of images and direct supervision of procedures. No dedicated research rotations will be approved.
  • Radiation Oncology (RO)
    • The period of training must include participation in all aspects of RO treatment planning and delivery, including 3D conformal radiation therapy (3D CRT), intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), and brachytherapy.
    • The training experience must include exposure to clinical cases comprising the eight clinical categories of the RO Qualifying and Certifying Exams.
    • The training experience must include active participation in the area with a minimum of 100 new cases.
    • The training experience must include participation in regularly scheduled department and institutional multidisciplinary conferences.
    • No dedicated research rotations will be approved.
  • Interventional Radiology/Diagnostic Radiology (IR/DR)
    • The period of training must be carried out entirely in an ACGME-accredited IR/DR training program.
    • No dedicated research rotations will be approved.
  • Medical Physics (MP)
    • Training must be in a department that offers a CAMPEP-accredited residency in the specialty that the candidate is pursuing.

 

Payment and Fees

Should a candidate withdraw/drop out of the certification process during the board eligibility period and then subsequently re-enter the process, that individual will be required to pay a new application fee and all fees assessed during the new board eligibility period.

This policy is subject to amendment. Candidates and diplomates are advised to check the ABR website periodically for the most current version.

 

To download a pdf of the policy, please click here.