Initial Certification for Interventional Radiology

International Medical Graduates Alternate Pathway

Last verified on May 16, 2019
An international medical graduate (IMG) is defined as an individual trained in an interventional radiology program outside the U.S., its territories, or Canada.


As an IMG, you must demonstrate the following to be considered as a candidate for certification by the American Board of Radiology:
  • Satisfy the training requirements of a non-U.S., non-Canadian country
  • Have documentation verifying your ability to practice interventional radiology independently in your country of training or have received board certification in your country (if applicable)
  • Have had one year of clinical training
  • If you have trained in India, you must have the following degrees to be eligible for the alternate pathway: M.B.B.S. + D.N.B. and/or M.D. If you have another set of degrees from India, a sponsoring department agreement (SDA) must have been received by the ABR by 12/31/2011 for you to be eligible for this pathway. Holders of other degrees from India will not be eligible for ABR certification via the alternate pathway.
The board will assess your status relative to ABR policies and the alternative pathway toward board certification only after receipt of the following documents:
  • Current, detailed curriculum vitae with specific dates of all training
  • Verification of the following:
    • Medical school training
    • One year of clinical training
    • Radiology residency training
    • Radiology certification (if applicable)
    • Radiology training appointment and/or full-time faculty appointment in an institution with an Integrated or Independent Interventional Radiology residency training program approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
    • NOTE: The board accepts copies of diplomas or letters from training institutions as verification. If original documents are in a language other than English, an English translation must accompany them.
  • Payment of a one-time nonrefundable administration fee to be included with the completed application form
  • Copy of Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) certificate or Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC) certificate
  • Sponsoring department agreement, including your five-year plan
    • NOTE: The required five years of full-time, continuous training or continuous faculty experience must be completed in one ACGME–accredited program. At least two of the five years must be focused in IR. 
  • Your department chair must complete and submit annual verification forms.
  • The five-year experience must include four months (i.e., sixteen 40-hour weeks) of clinical nuclear medicine training.These four months of nuclear medicine should be the same as those completed by an interventional radiology resident at the sponsoring institution.
    • One-week increments of training at 40 hours a week is the minimum acceptable training increment permitted.
    • All nuclear medicine training must be clinical training; research is not applicable.
    • Training at an affiliated institution is acceptable.
    • Nuclear Medicine/PET-CT studies interpreted or reviewed as a part of clinical assignments in other than dedicated nuclear medicine rotations during a fellowship (such as chest, abdominal, or cardiac imaging), or during multidisciplinary conferences, cannot be used to satisfy this requirement.
  • Candidates must meet the interventional radiology residency curriculum requirements for nuclear medicine therapy of 131I administrations. Candidates must perform under preceptor supervision at least three therapies involving oral administration of 131I in quantities less than or equal to 33 millicuries (mCi) and at least three therapies in quantities greater than 33mCi.
  • Copies of United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) Steps 1 – 2 score reports
    • USMLE Step 3 is required six months before admittance to the Certifying exam.
    • Current unrestricted medical license is required at the time of application and also when certification is conferred.


Core Exam

After your application has been approved, and you have completed 36 months of your approved training, you may take the Core Exam. IMG Interventional Radiology Alternate Pathway candidates are not required to take the Core Exam at their first opportunity.

Certifying Exam

IMG alternate pathway candidates will be eligible for the Certifying Exam after they comply with the following:
  • Successfully pass the Core Exam
  • Complete the five-year plan in one ACGME-accredited Integrated or Independent interventional radiology residency program
  • The ABR office must receive the Final Verification Form (FVF) signed by the department chair, attesting completion of your five-year consecutive plan, including:
    • four months of nuclear medicine and/or nuclear medicine training, and
    • interventional radiology curriculum requirements for radionuclide therapy for high and low-dose sodium iodide 131I administrations.

More Information

Board Eligibility

Please see the Board Eligibility Page for more details.


A fee schedule for the IMG Alterate Pathway can be found here.


Interventional Radiology/Diagnostic Radiology IMG Application Form
Interventional Radiology/Diagnostic Radiology IMG Sponsoring Department Agreement


  • If applicable, you must submit a plan to meet the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA) Breast Imaging requirements.