Initial Certification for Interventional Radiology

Independent IR Residency

Last verified on March 7, 2024

Certification Overview

  • Complete ACGME- or RCPSC-accredited diagnostic radiology residency
Candidate must successfully complete an ACGME- or RCPSC-accredited diagnostic radiology residency. A minimum of four months of diagnostic radiology training program must be spent in nuclear radiology. 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.
  • Complete an ACGME-accredited independent interventional radiology residency
The program must be ACGME-accredited. Candidates successfully completing Early Specialization in Interventional Radiology (ESIR) training during their DR residency may only need to complete one year of Independent IR residency. Those not successfully completing ESIR will be required to complete two years of Independent IR residency.
  • Pass the ABR Qualifying (Core) Exam
Click here for more information on the Qualifying (Core) Exam.
  • Pass the ABR Certifying Exam
Click here for more information on the Certifying Exam. Candidates who are DR certified will only be required to take the oral component of the IR/DR 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.  

Leaves of Absence

Leaves of absence 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, an extension of training may be required for a resident to remain eligible for Initial Certification. Please see the ABR’s Residency Leave Policy for details.  

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.  

Time Limit for Completing Residency Training

Effective July 1, 2026, residents must have completed their two-year residency within four years of the start date of the residency program. See Residency Completion Policy for additional details.