Initial Certification for Interventional Radiology

International Medical Graduates Alternate Pathway

Last verified on January 14, 2020
An international medical graduate (IMG) is defined as an individual trained in an interventional radiology program outside the U.S., its territories, or Canada.


To be considered a candidate for certification by the American Board of Radiology, an applicant must demonstrate the following:
  • Satisfy the training requirements of a non-U.S., non-Canadian country
  • Have documentation verifying the applicant’s ability to practice interventional radiology independently in the country of training or board certification in the applicant’s country (if applicable)
  • Complete one year of clinical training
  • Complete a DR residency program with IR training outside the U.S. or Canada.
  • If trained in India, the applicants must have the following degrees to be eligible for the Alternate Pathway: M.B.B.S. + D.N.B. and/or M.D.
The Board will assess an applicant’s status relative to ABR policies and the IMG Alternate Pathway to Board Certification only after receiving  the following documents:
    • Current, detailed curriculum vitae with specific dates of all training
    • Verification of the following:
      • Medical school training
      • Clinical training
      • Radiology residency training
      • Interventional radiology certification (if applicable)
      • Five consecutive years of IR residency training, fellowship, and/or full-time faculty appointment in one institution with an IR training program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). (See Sponsoring Department Agreement below.)
      • Up to four years of IR residency may count. However, five years of IR residency does not qualify for the ABR Alternate Pathway, as that is the standard training pathway.
      • NOTE: The Board accepts copies of diplomas or letters from training institutions as verification. If original documents are not in English, an English translation must accompany them.
    • Candidates will be notified when to submit the application fee
    • Copy of Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) certificate or Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC) certificate
    • Sponsoring Department Agreement, including the applicant’s 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. Credit for research training of up to 12 months will be granted toward IR/DR certification if the research is completed at the same institution as the remaining clinical training.
    • The applicant’s 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 radiology training. These four months of nuclear radiology training 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 radiology training must be clinical training; research is not acceptable.
      • Training at an affiliated institution is acceptable.
      • Nuclear radiology and/or PET/CT studies interpreted or reviewed during a fellowship or multidisciplinary conference as a part of clinical assignments in rotations not dedicated to nuclear radiology cannot be used to satisfy this requirement.
    • Candidates must meet the interventional radiology residency curriculum requirements for nuclear radiology therapy of 131I administrations. Under preceptor supervision, candidates must perform 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
      • A passing score on 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.


Approved candidates follow the same exam schedule as candidates for the standard IR/DR certification pathway.

Recognition of Successful Candidates

Successful candidates are awarded a continuous ABR specialty certificate in interventional radiology/diagnostic radiology (IR/DR).

More Information

Board Eligibility

Please see the Board Eligibility Policy for more details.


A fee schedule for the IMG Alternate 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.