Initial Certification for Interventional Radiology

VIR Fellowship

Last verified on December 18, 2023

Candidates completing an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited diagnostic radiology residency and then completing an ACGME-accredited VIR fellowship have two options for gaining Interventional Radiology/Diagnostic Radiology (IR/DR) certification:



Option One:

  • Take the DR Certifying Exam in the fall immediately following completion of fellowship.
    • If passed, candidate is awarded DR certification.
  • Take the IR/DR Certifying Exam (oral component only) in the fall of the next year after completion of fellowship.1
    • If passed, candidate is awarded IR/DR certification

Option Two:

1Candidates will be required to complete one year of post-fellowship training practice experience in IR (minimum 33 percent of a 1.0 FTE) to be eligible for the IR/DR Certifying exam.
For any questions about the IR/DR certificate, go to this page.



SIR ECS Questions and Scenarios with ABR Responses: 12/31/2020

Certification Application and Exam Registration

  1. What is a certification application?

An application is a request from a candidate seeking initial certification in IR/DR.

  1. Who needs to submit a certification application?

Only candidates completing a VIR fellowship need to submit an application. Candidates completing an Integrated or Independent IR residency do not need to apply. However, they do need to register for an exam when they become eligible to take one.

  1. When do I submit my application for an IR/DR certificate?

You can submit an application as soon as November 1 of the year you complete your VIR fellowship. The application process begins on November 1 each year and ends on February 28. Please visit the ABR website for additional information regarding the application process and requirements. You only need to submit one application for an IR/DR certificate.

  1. What documentation is required to submit the certification application?

Please visit the requirements and application process page for additional information about required documentation.

  1. What is exam registration?

Registration is the process for securing a date and time for a specific exam administration.

  1. Who needs to complete exam registration?

All candidates who wish to take a specific exam must complete the registration process.

  1. What is required to register for an exam?

Please refer to the IR exam calendar for details on exam and registration dates. If you have not applied, you need to complete the certification application process, which begins on November 1 and ends on February 28.

  1. When does exam registration open?

Please refer to the IR exam calendar for details on exam dates and corresponding registration dates.

  1. How long is exam registration open?

Registration is generally open for about six weeks. Please remember, you must submit an application and that application must be approved before you can register for an exam.

  1. What should I do if I do not receive an email for exam registration?

Contact an ABR certification manager at or (520) 790-2900.

  1. What if I missed the exam registration date?

Contact an ABR certification manager at or (520) 790-2900.

Exam Logistics: Planning for Days Off to Take the Exam

  1. At this time, which exam dates are planned to be in-person and which are planned to be remote?

There are no planned in-person exams at this time. All exams are planned for remote delivery. Please refer to the IR exam calendar for details on exam dates and corresponding registration dates.

  1. For the computer-based certifying exam, how long is the exam, and at what time of day will it be held?

Information about the exam day schedule is located on the exam breakdown and timing page of the ABR website.

  1. How long is my IR/DR Certifying Oral Exam?

An individual’s exam event is about three hours on a single day. Details about the oral exam schedule are located on the exam breakdown and timing page of the ABR website.

  1. What time of day is the IR/DR Certifying Oral Exam, and what time on the last day will it be completed?

There are two exam sessions each day. The first daily session begins at 10 am Eastern and the second begins at 1:10 pm Eastern. The last exam period ends at 4:10 pm Eastern each day.

  1. Is there any other specific information regarding the testing format itself for the remote delivery (i.e., proctoring, location to take exam, number of monitors, screen resolution, computer operating system needed for exam)?

The IR/DR Remote Certifying Exam Guides can help prepare candidates for the remote oral and computer-based exam experiences. Included in the guides is important information such as where exams may be taken, computer requirements, and what is and is not allowed on exam day.

  1. What if my computer is on a hospital network and encrypted?

An Exam Readiness Check and Sample Questions will be available for the computer-based exam once you have registered. The Exam Readiness Check will allow you to test the computer and location you would like to use for the computer-based component of the exam to ensure it works as you desire. You will complete an additional computer technical check with an ABR navigator several weeks prior to your oral exam as well. If you are planning to take your exam at your institution, please share the information found on our Remote Exam Technical Specifications for Institutions page with your IT department.

  1. What if I fail the exam?

Candidates who do not pass the exam may retake it at the next available administration as long as they remain board eligible. More details about board eligibility can be found here.