Initial Certification for Interventional Radiology


Last verified on September 26, 2017
On October 15, 2017, the first initial certifying exams in interventional radiology/diagnostic radiology (IR/DR) will be administered. On this day, the ABR’s subspecialty certificate in vascular and interventional radiology (VIR) will be sunsetted and can no longer be maintained. Qualified interventional radiologists will be issued a new board certificate that reflects their unique stature as IRs and their singular role in treating and managing patients through image-guided interventions.
Because this is a major change in certification, diplomates have been asked to take action by October 1, 2017 to either:
  • confirm their decision to convert their DR and VIR certificates to the new IR/DR specialty certificate, or
  • opt out of the conversion and keep only their DR certificate.
Diplomates should follow the link here to select their choice.
Unless a diplomate opts out, this change in certificate status will automatically occur on October 15, 2017.  After October 1, the ABR will follow up with diplomates who have not made a choice to convert or opt out to ensure the changes that will be made to their certification on October 15, 2017, are intentional.
After October 15, VIR subspecialty certificates can no longer be maintained. The new continuous IR/DR certificate will be maintained through meeting MOC requirements related to the IR portion of the certificate ONLY. Diplomates will not be required to maintain both DR and IR portions, nor will they be charged any additional MOC fees.
Other ABR subspecialty certificates–including pediatric radiology, neuroradiology, and nuclear radiology, as well as hospice and palliative medicine and pain medicine–will not be affected by this change.
Lifetime DR certificate holders who choose to convert to the continuous IR/DR certificate will not lose their lifetime certificate. They can request to drop the IR portion of their certificate at any time, and they will be issued a new DR lifetime certificate.
The ABR has prepared a memo to credentialers, hospitals, payers, and other stakeholders outlining the changes to IR certification and the impact on existing DR and VIR subspecialty certificates. For more information and to download the memo, go to the Credentialers and Practices page.
For answers to additional questions, please see the IR/DR Certificate Conversion FAQs.