Initial Certification for Interventional Radiology

Integrated IR Residency

Last verified on March 7, 2024

Certification Overview

  • Complete one year in clinical training
    See Section III.A.2.b).(2).(a) of the ACGME Interventional Radiology Program Requirements for information on ACGME clinical year training requirements. 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.
    Residents may also fulfill their clinical year requirement in an RCPSC-accredited residency by completing a minimum of eight (four-week) blocks of clinical experiences other than radiology.
  • Complete an ACGME-accredited integrated interventional radiology residency program
    The program must be ACGME accredited. A minimum of four months of 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Credit for Fellowship Training

Approval will be granted by the ABR for up to one year of credit toward the five-year integrated interventional radiology (IR) residency for candidates who have served corresponding time in an ACGME-accredited radiology fellowship or accredited nuclear medicine residency prior to beginning an Integrated IR residency, subject to approval by the residency program director. There cannot be more than a one-year interval between the completion of an applicable fellowship and the start of residency. This could allow for a shortened duration of the residency by up to one year. Candidates are advised that time spent in an ACGME-accredited fellowship that is associated with an ABR subspecialty certificate (nuclear radiology, pediatric radiology, and neuroradiology) may not be applied in support of eligibility for the subspecialty certificate.  

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Stimulating Access to Research in Residency (StARR) R38

Candidates who are participating in ACGME-approved training programs with research orientation and funding through the NIH R38 grant award mechanism, with requirements equivalent to those of the Holman Research Pathway, and have met all other requirements for initial certification, will be considered as eligible for initial certification.  

Residency Transfers

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 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 five-year residency within 10 years of the start date of the residency program. See Residency Completion Policy for additional details.