Initial Certification for Interventional Radiology

IR/DR Certifying Exam

Last verified on November 13, 2023
This Interventional Radiology section contains information intended only for candidates in an IR residency program. Candidates who have completed a diagnostic radiology residency and a vascular and interventional fellowship, please refer to the Vascular and Interventional Radiology section for information about the requirements for this pathway.
Candidates taking this exam who are already certified in diagnostic radiology are required to take only the oral component. Those who are not certified in diagnostic radiology are required to take both the oral and  computer-based components.

Exam Breakdown and Timing

The IR/DR Certifying Exam consists of two components: one computer-based and one oral. The computer-based component has 178 questions and is approximately 4 hours long (including orientation, tutorial, and breaks). The oral exam component consists of four 30-minute sessions with a total exam time of approximately 3 hours (including orientation and breaks). The two components of the exam are held on separate days. Beginning with the residency class graduating in June 2024, candidates will be required to wait until the calendar year following completion of training to take the oral component. Please see Exam Dates and Locations for the schedule. Candidates do not have to pass the computer-based component prior to taking the oral component. However, they do need to pass both components to receive an IR/DR Certifying Exam pass result.
For more details, visit the Exam Breakdown and Timing page.

Oral Component

Each candidate completes four 30-minute oral exams. Each exam includes elements of image interpretation, image-guided procedures, and the periprocedural management of patients.
  • The exam format is one-on-one, using cases prepared and selected by the ABR.
  • A unique examiner gives each 30-minute oral exam, so candidates interact with four different examiners.
  • The exam sections occur sequentially, with a 10-minute break between each section.
  • The examiner guides the candidate through the cases.
  • The content of the oral component encompasses the totality of interventional radiology practice; it is not  tailored to an individual’s practice setting.

Computer-based Component

The computer-based component includes two modules:
  • Essentials of Diagnostic Radiology
  • Interventional Radiology