Initial Certification for Interventional Radiology

The Certificate

Last verified on May 13, 2019
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.
The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) approved the Interventional Radiology/Diagnostic Radiology (IR/DR) certificate in 2012. The new IR/DR certificate is one of four primary certificates offered by the ABR. Those certified in IR/DR will have demonstrated competency to practice in diagnostic radiology, as well as the full scope of interventional radiology. The first IR/DR certifying exams were administered in October 2017. Initial IR/DR certificates were issued in late 2017 to those who passed this inaugural exam.
The Committee on Requirements of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has approved the program requirements for the Interventional Radiology Residency Program. These requirements can be found on the ACGME website.
A IR/DR history timeline was created by ABR Diplomate M. Victoria Marx, MD, FSIR, president-elect of the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR).   

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 each category 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.

VIR Subspecialty

The ABR issued the last Vascular and Interventional Radiology (VIR) subspecialty certificate in 2016. Candidates completing an ACGME-accredited VIR fellowship are eligible to take the IR/DR Certifying Exam and earn IR/DR certification. Please refer to the VIR subspecialty page for additional details.

The DIRECT Pathway

No new applications for the Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology Enhanced Clinical Training (DIRECT) pathway will be accepted.

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.