Initial Certification for Medical Physics

Last verified on May 21, 2019

International Medical Graduates Alternate Pathway


Structured Mentorship Certification in Medical Physics

The American Board of Radiology (ABR) provides an alternate pathway for medical physicists trained in foreign countries, which excludes the United States and its possessions and territories, as well as Canada.
Medical physicists who wish to enter the program will need to demonstrate that:
  • They are qualified to practice medical physics in their country of origin, and
  • They are able to enter into an arrangement with a facility and a supervisor who will guide them and provide a location for their clinical training.

General Requirements

As an IMG, you must demonstrate the following to be considered as a candidate for certification by the American Board of Radiology:
  1. Be employed in the U.S. as a medical physicist.
  2. Complete and submit a Structured Mentorship Program application form to the ABR. The application must include the candidate statement, along with the sponsoring department agreement and training plan from the sponsoring facility, which is signed by both the candidate and the advisor.
  3. Submit a one-time nonrefundable administrative fee, due with the application. Click here for the current fees.
  4. Demonstrate that your education is at least equivalent to the requirements of a Master of Science degree in medical physics from a CAMPEP-accredited program.
  5. Demonstrate at least one year of employment as a qualified medical physicist in your country of origin or training (See AAPM Report 197S: Education and Training of Medical Physicists Committee, 2011.)
  6. Show credentials as a medical physicist in your country of initial training.
  7. The sponsoring department must be at an institution that has a CAMPEP-accredited residency program. The supervising medical physicist at the sponsoring department must be a diplomate of the ABR. The program must include a minimum of three years.

General Competencies

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the ABR have established six competencies for practitioners. They are:
  • Practice knowledge
  • Patient care and procedural skills
  • Interpersonal/communication skills
  • Professionalism
  • Practice-based learning and improvement
  • Systems-based practice
The candidate should provide the advisor with a statement as to his or her progress toward meeting the six competencies on an annual basis. Guidance for this process is available on the ABR website. The medical physicist supervisor will be required to attest that the candidate meets the six competencies before the ABR will recognize the Structured Mentorship as acceptable training.


Each candidate in a Structured Mentorship must keep a portfolio describing the activities in which he or she participates. At a minimum, the portfolio must include:
  • the plan for each rotation,
  • a list of educational materials used for the rotation,
  • a summary of candidate activities,
  • survey reports,
  • self-directed educational projects (SDEPs),
  • practice quality improvement (PQI) projects,
  • self-assessment modules (SAMs),
  • a brief (3-page) summary of each rotation written by the candidate,
  • candidate evaluations written by the advisor, and
  • candidate evaluations written by physicians or other supervisors.
Portfolios may be audited.  

More Information

Discipline-specific Information

Further information regarding the Structured Mentorship Program requirements in the three disciplines of medical physics may be found at the links below:

Board Eligibility

Please see the Board Eligibility page for more details.


A fee schedule for the IMG alternate pathway can be found here.


Medical Physics Structured Mentorship Application Form


Continuation of the IMG Alternate Pathway
Despite any changes implemented by other organizations, the American Board of Radiology has no plans at this time to discontinue its IMG Alternate Pathway to Certification Program. The program will continue to be available to individuals who meet the requirements outlined above.


1Excluding the United States and its possessions and territories, as well as Canada.
2The ABR will evaluate the qualifications of candidates for the Structured Mentorship Program.
3Role of supervisor: The certified medical physicist designated as the supervisor of clinical training must interact with the candidate (trainee) on a regular basis. Although same‐location supervision is preferable, electronic means of review for candidates at a distance are acceptable to supplement face‐to‐face interactions. Through these interactions the supervisor must:
  • review the professional activity/output of the candidate;
  • become thoroughly familiar with the professional quality of the candidate’s work;
  • provide input and guidance on professional activities;
  • determine the candidate’s capability of working independently in the designated field of medical physics;
  • be willing to provide a statement to the ABR attesting to the above and to certify, at the end of the training period, that the candidate is capable of working independently in the designated field of medical physics.

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