Initial Certification for Interventional Radiology

IR/DR Transition Pathway

Last verified on July 31, 2019
Diplomates certified in diagnostic radiology or general radiology who completed an ACGME- or RCPSC-accredited VIR fellowship more than 10 years ago are eligible to take the oral component of the IR/DR Certifying Exam. Applications for this pathway will be accepted until February 28, 2020. The IR/DR certification exam must be passed by December 31, 2020.

Requirements

Diplomates interested in earning IR/DR certification through this pathway must meet the following requirements:
  • hold an ABR diagnostic radiology or general radiology certificate in good standing.
  • have completed an ACGME- or RCPSC-accredited VIR fellowship. Confirmation from the program director or department chair is required.
  • spend at least one-third (15 hours per week) of their practice in interventional radiology. Attestation by section chief or department chair is required.
  • provide a log of their last 500 interventional radiology cases, including the complications of those procedures.
  • completion of at least 75 CME credits in the last three years, at least 25 of which must be Self-assessment CME (SA-CME). Documentation of the CME must be submitted with the application unless the diplomate is already participating in MOC and has completed Part 2 attestation.
  • provide evidence of a current state medical license with expiration date.
  • be current with MOC annual fees (if applicable) and pay current exam fee.
  • Registration

    The standard registration window for the IR/DR Transition Pathway is November 1 through February 28.

    The Exam

    Candidates with an approved application are eligible to take the oral component of the IR/DR Certifying Exam. The exam must be passed by December 31, 2020.

    Recognition of Successful Candidates

    • Successful ABR candidates are awarded a continuous ABR specialty certificate in interventional/diagnostic radiology (IR/DR). When IR/DR certification is issued, the diplomate’s diagnostic radiology certificate will no longer be visible on the ABR website. ABMS CertiFACTS will show the entire certification history, so credentialers will see that the diagnostic radiology certificate was “converted.”
    • If the converted diagnostic radiology certificate was a lifetime certificate, and for any reason a diplomate decides to drop the IR component of his or her IR/DR certificate in the future, that lifetime DR certificate will be re-issued. No new requirements will be attached to the re-issued lifetime certificate.

    Board Eligibility

    No designation for board eligibility exists for this pathway.

    Maintenance of Certification

    Continuous certification in interventional/diagnostic radiology is contingent upon meeting the requirements of the ABR’s Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. For MOC program details, please see the interventional radiology MOC page.

    FAQs

    What type of certificate will I be issued?

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

    What will happen to my diagnostic radiology certificate when the IR/DR certificate is issued?

    When IR/DR certification is issued, the diplomate’s diagnostic radiology certificate will no longer be visible on the ABR website. ABMS CertiFACTS will show the entire certification history, so credentialers will see that the diagnostic radiology certificate was “converted”. If the converted diagnostic radiology certificate was a lifetime certificate, and for any reason a diplomate decides to drop the IR component of their IR/DR certificate at a later time, their lifetime DR certificate will be re-issued. No new requirements will be attached to the re-issued lifetime certificate. Please see the IR/DR Certificate Conversion FAQs for more information.

    Who is eligible for this pathway?

    All diplomates with a certificate in good standing in diagnostic radiology or general radiology who completed an ACGME-accredited VIR fellowship more than 10 years ago.

    What is the last date that I can apply for this pathway?

    Applications will be accepted until February 28, 2020. However, we recommend that you apply and take the exam before 2020 in case you don’t pass the exam on your first attempt.

    What type of VIR fellowship is eligible?

    Only ACGME-accredited VIR fellowships are accepted.

    What percentage of my practice must be in IR?

    At least one-third (15 hours per week) of your practice must be in interventional radiology. Attestation by your section chief or department chair is required.

    I am in a solo practice. Who can attest to the time I spend in IR??

    You can attest to your practice if you are a sole proprietor. Your attestation is subject to audit, in which case you will be asked to provide further documentation of your cases.

    I am in a freestanding practice. Who can attest to the time I spend in IR?

    A current partner can attest to your practice.

    If I have been participating in MOC and am up to date on my fees. Do I still need to pay a fee to take the exam?

    Yes. In addition to paying your MOC fees, you will need to pay the current subspecialty exam application fee.

    What type of CME credits must I have?

    Applicants must have 75 AMA Category 1 credits, of which 25 must be Self-Assessment CME (SA-CME). CME credits may be in any content area.

    Do the CME credits have to be in IR?

    No. The CME credits do not have to be IR specific.

    What type of documentation do I need to submit for the CME and SA-CME requirement?

    If you are not currently participating in MOC, then you will need to submit digital copies documenting your completion of 75 AMA Category 1 CME credits in the previous three years, including 25 SA-CME credits. Those participating in MOC can meet this requirement by successfully completing the Part 2 attestation in myABR.

    What type of exam will I take?

    If your application is approved, you will take the oral component of the IR/DR Certifying Exam. Please visit the page on the IR/DR Certifying Exam for more details.

    How often is the oral component of the IR/DR Certifying Exam given?

    The exam is given once each year in the fall.

    Where is the oral component of the IR/DR Certifying Exam given?

    In Tucson, Arizona.

    How many chances will I have to pass the exam?

    You will have three opportunities in the fall of 2018, 2019, and 2020.

    Can I “condition” the exam?

    No. This is a pass-fail exam, so all sections must be passed.

    What happens if I fail the exam?

    If you take the exam before 2020, then you will have additional exam opportunities in case you fail. If you take the exam in 2020 and fail, you will have no additional opportunities to take another exam within this pathway. A re-exam fee is applicable to each exam retake.

    Can I still get an IR/DR certificate if I don’t pass the exam by 2020?

    Yes. However, you will need to pursue another available IR/DR certification pathway. Please see the IR/DR initial certification information on our website.