IC RO Requirements

Initial Certification


Radiation Oncology



  • Clinical training, accredited by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC)
  • Training in any combination of these disciplines:
        -Internal medicine
        -Surgery or surgical specialties
        -Obstetrics and gynecology
        -Family practice
        -Transitional or categorical radiation oncology

Specialties other than those listed, including pathology and psychiatry, do not satisfy the ABR's PGY 1 requirement.

PGY 2 - 5

  • Four years of approved training in radiation oncology
        - In a department approved for training in radiation
          oncology by the radiation oncology Residency
          Review Committee (RRC) of the Accreditation
          Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME),
          or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons
          of Canada (RCPSC)
       - 36 months of clinical radiation oncology with 
          exposure to pathology and medical oncology
       - No more than six months in elective rotations outside
          the parent institution, as defined in the program
          requirements of the RRC

Candidates are expected to remain in the same radiation oncology training program for the duration of the training. If a candidate desires to or must transfer:

  • the program director or chair of the initial program must verify that the candidate has satisfactorily completed the portions of the training that were undertaken in that program,
  • this training must be accepted by the program director of the new program.
  • If the candidate's initial program director states that he or she has not successfully completed training, or is unwilling to attest to that completion, an alternative attestation may have the signatures of two other faculty members from the same program, supporting the satisfactory completion.

Obtaining certification within the six-year board eligibility period

At the completion of training, the ABR officially recognizes candidates as board eligible for a period of six full calendar years, through December 31st of the sixth year. Certification must be acquired during this time. Please see the page on board eligibility for further details.


APPLY for exam process Eligible to TAKE Physics and Cancer Biology exams Eligible to TAKE Clinical exam Eligible to TAKE Oral exam
  PGY 2 (second year):
X - - -
  PGY 3 - PGY 4 (PGY 1 + 36 to 48 months):
X X - -
  PGY 4 - PGY 5 (PGY 1 + 48 to 60 months):
X X X -
  Training complete and have passed all computer-based exams:
- - - X


One registration covers all portions of the examination process.

The computer-based examination is currently offered annually in July.
Candidates must have applied by Sept. 30 of the year before they plan to take the exam.

The oral examinations are currently conducted yearly in late May or early June. Candidates who have passed all the computer-based examinations and have completed 60 months of approved training (PGY 1 plus 48 months of radiation oncology residency) by September 30 may be scheduled for the oral examination for the next year in which the exam will be given.

No candidate will be scheduled for the oral examination without proof of active, current medical licensure. The successful candidate will be issued a certificate in radiation oncology and automatically enters the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) process to maintain certification.


When candidates apply for admission to an ABR examination, they must present evidence, satisfactory to the Board of Trustees, that they have met the following standards:

  • Graduation from a medical school in the United States or Canada that is accredited at the date of graduation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, or from a college of osteopathic medicine approved by the American Osteopathic Association. If the candidate is a graduate of a medical school outside the United States or Canada, he or she must be screened for approval by an agency acceptable to the Board of Trustees (see International Medical Graduates).
  • Completion of the required training in radiation oncology in a program approved by the ACGME or RCPSC (Canada) and recognized by peers to have high moral and ethical standards in the profession.
  • To obtain the required authorized user-eligible (AU) status, candidates must fulfill the U.S. requirements established by NRC.
  • For clarification regarding ACGME and NRC requirements for brachytherapy case mix requirements and numbers, see Policy Regarding Brachytherapy Requirements.

Board Approval

The Board´s decision on your certification is based on your professional record, training, and attainment in the field of radiation oncology, as well as on the results of your examinations. This Board has been organized not to prevent qualified radiation oncologists from obtaining certificates, but to assist them in becoming recognized in their communities as men and women competent to practice in the special field of radiation oncology.

Leaves of Absence

Leaves of absence and vacation may be granted to residents at the discretion of the program director in accordance with local rules. Depending on the length of absence granted by your program, the required period of graduate medical education may be extended accordingly. Residency program directors and their institutional GME offices determine the need for extension of residency training. Therefore, it is not up to the ABR to determine graduation dates for individual residents.

Failure to Qualify

If a candidate's program director fails to indicate in writing that he or she has the required training and will have achieved adequate professional qualifications before the examination, documentation of the reason(s) must be submitted along with evidence that the candidate has been appropriately apprised of these deficiencies (see the ABR's Appeals Policy).

Revocation of Certificate

Certificates issued by this board shall be subject to revocation if:

  • the certificate was issued contrary to or in violation of any rule or regulation of the ABR; or
  • the person to whom the certificate was issued was not eligible to receive it; or
  • there is substantial misstatement or omission of a material fact to the ABR in an application or in any other information submitted to the ABR; or
  • any license of the person to practice is not, or ceases to be, a valid and unrestricted license to practice within the meaning set forth in the rules and regulations of the ABR (if a diplomate's license to practice is suspended, revoked, or restricted in any state in which the diplomate practices, holds a license, or has held a license, the diplomate's board certification may be revoked or suspended); or
  • there is a violation of rules and regulations relating to the Initial Qualifying, Oral, or Maintenance of Certification examinations and applications to take the examinations; or
  • the diplomate presented, distributed, aided, or assisted another person(s) to present or distribute a forged document or other written instrument purporting to have been issued by or under the authority of the ABR to evidence that a candidate, diplomate, or any other person(s) is currently or was previously certified by the ABR when that is not the case; or claimed orally or in writing, or assisted another person(s) to claim that a candidate, diplomate, or any other person(s) is currently or was previously certified by the ABR when that is not the case; or
  • the diplomate engages in any conduct that materially disrupts any examination or that could reasonably be interpreted as threatening or abusive toward any examinee, proctor, or staff; or
  • there is failure to cooperate with the ABR or its Hearing Committee at any point during the investigation of a matter arising under Article X of the ABR Bylaws.

Before any such certificate shall be revoked, a notice shall be sent by registered or certified mail to the last known address of the holder of such certificate as it appears on the records of the ABR. The notice will set forth the act, omission, or conduct alleged or complained of and give the holder of the certificate a reasonable opportunity to answer in writing thereto. Such certificate holder shall have no less than 30 days in which to reply thereto. The Board of Trustees may, at its discretion, make such further investigation as it deems necessary and proper.

The Board of Trustees of this corporation shall have the sole power, jurisdiction, and right to determine and decide whether or not the evidence or information before it is sufficient to constitute one of the grounds for revocation of any certificate issued by the Board. The decision of the Board of Trustees in the premise shall be final.

The Board reserves the right to make changes in its fees, policies, and procedures at any time and cannot assume responsibility for giving advance notice thereof.