Initial Certification for Interventional Radiology

Initial Certification

Last verified on July 15, 2020
This Interventional Radiology Section contains information intended only for candidates in an IR residency program. Candidates who have completed a diagnostic radiology residency and are a past, current, or future vascular and interventional fellow, please refer to the Vascular and Interventional Radiology section for information about the requirements for that pathway.

Interventional Radiology Training Pathways


Interventional Radiology Residencies

There are two IR residency formats:

The Integrated IR Residency

This residency consists of one clinical year, followed by five years of an ACGME-accredited integrated IR residency. The Integrated IR Residency includes:
  • three years of diagnostic radiology training (same as for a standard DR residency), which should include some months of IR training;
  • two years of interventional radiology training;
  • training in critical care medicine; and
  • training in periprocedural care and inpatient admitting service—admitting patients and caring for them before, during, and after IR procedures.
Those who have begun DR training may have the opportunity to transfer into an Integrated IR residency at their own institution to seek initial certification in IR/DR.

The Independent IR Residency

This residency will be two years and will be entered after the candidate has satisfactorily completed a DR residency. Independent IR residencies will not begin until July 1, 2020.
Some candidates who are residents in DR programs approved by the ACGME Residency Review Committee (RRC) to provide Early Specialization in IR (ESIR), and who have completed the prerequisites, will be able to enter the second year of the Independent IR Residency program following their DR residencies.   

The Exams

The Core Exam, offered after 36 months of residency training, is the same exam taken by candidates for certification in diagnostic radiology. It is image rich and computer based; it covers 18 subspecialty and modality categories. Candidates must pass overall and in physics to receive a passing result.
The Certifying Exam consists of an oral component and a computer-based component. Candidates taking this exam who are already certified in diagnostic radiology will only be required to take the oral component. Those who are not certified in diagnostic radiology will take the oral component in addition to the computer-based component, which includes one Essentials of Diagnostic Radiology module and one Interventional module.
Content for the Radioisotope Safety Exam (RISE) is integrated into the Core Exam and the Essentials Module of the IR/DR Certifying Exam. The ABR has submitted a request to the NRC for AU-eligibility (AU-E) designation for the IR/DR certificate, and more information is forthcoming. The RISE result will not affect the pass results for the Core Exam or the IR/DR Certifying Exam.

Recognition and MOC

Recognition of Successful Candidates

Successful ABR candidates are awarded a continuous ABR specialty certificate in interventional/diagnostic radiology.

Maintenance of Certification

Continuous certification in interventional/diagnostic radiology is contingent upon meeting the requirements of the ABR’s Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. For MOC program details, please see the interventional radiology MOC page.
Questions related to any board certification issues can be addressed to, or by calling (520) 790-2900.