Initial Certification for Interventional Radiology

Certification Requirements

Last verified on June 7, 2018
 

Certification Overview

  • Complete one year in clinical training
    The first postgraduate year must be ACGME- or RCPSC- accredited clinical training in internal medicine, pediatrics, surgery or surgical specialties, obstetrics and gynecology, neurology, family practice, emergency medicine, transitional year, or any combination of these. Credit for accredited training in other specialties may be granted on an individual basis after submission of the appropriate documents to the ABR. If there is an elective in diagnostic or interventional radiology, it must be in a department with an ACGME-accredited interventional or diagnostic radiology residency program and cannot be longer than two months. No more than a total of three months may be spent in radiation oncology and/or pathology.
  • Complete an ACGME-accredited interventional radiology program
    The program must be approved for training in interventional radiology by the Residency Review Committee (RRC) for interventional radiology of the ACGME. A minimum of four months of radiology training program must be spent in nuclear medicine. Candidate must also competently perform interpretation/multireading of the minimum number of mammograms within the specified time period as designated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA). No more than 16 months may be spent in any one subspecialty or in research.
  • Pass the ABR Core Exam
    Click here for more information on the Core Exam.
  • Pass the ABR Certifying Exam
    Click here for more information on the Certifying Exam.
  • Provide proof of valid state or provincial medical license
    For those in training, a valid training license is acceptable.
  • Demonstrate high moral and ethical principles
    The American Board of Radiology expects candidates for initial certification to uphold fundamental moral and ethical principles.
 

Other Important Information

Residency Transfers Between Integrated IR Programs

Residents are expected to remain in the same program for all five years. If a resident wishes to transfer for any reason, that transfer must be approved by the initial program director as well as by the new program director. A list of satisfactorily completed rotations must be provided to the new program director, who can accept all or some of them. To process the transfer, the ABR must receive a signed letter from the initial program director and the new program director confirming the resident’s start and end training dates, if the resident left the initial program in good standing, and if prior training will be accepted by the new program.

Residency Transfers from Diagnostic Radiology Program

Residents 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. To process the transfer, the ABR must receive a signed letter from the DR program director and the new IR program director confirming the resident’s start and end training dates, if the resident left the initial program in good standing, and if prior training will be accepted by the new IR program.  

Leaves of Absence

Leaves of absence and vacation may be granted to residents at the discretion of the program director in accordance with the institution’s 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.  

Mammography Quality Standards Acts (MQSA)

In order to immediately begin independent interpretation of mammograms following completion of an interventional radiology resident program, medical residency graduates of 2014 or later must complete specific U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements. Please click here for more information.  

Failure to Qualify

If a program director fails to indicate in writing that a resident will have 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 resident has been appropriately apprised of these deficiencies. If a program director states that a resident has not successfully completed one or more rotations, that statement must have the signature of two other faculty members from the same program, supporting the claim of unsatisfactory completion.  

Interventional Radiology Training Pathways

 

Interventional Radiology Residencies

There are two main IR residency formats:
 

The Integrated IR Residency

This residency consists of one clinical year, followed by five years of an ACGME-accredited 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.

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