Initial Certification for Radiation Oncology

International Medical Graduates Alternate Pathway

Last verified on November 18, 2022
An international medical graduate (IMG) is defined as an individual trained in radiation oncology programs outside the U.S., its territories, or Canada.  

Prerequisites and Requirements

To be considered a candidate for certification by the American Board of Radiology, an applicant must demonstrate the following:

Prerequisites

  • Satisfy the radiation oncology training requirements of a non-U.S., non-Canadian country.
  • Have documentation verifying the applicant’s ability to practice radiation oncology independently in the country of training or board certification (if applicable).
  • Complete a clinical year of non-radiation oncology training in general medicine, surgery, transitional internship, or its equivalent.
  • Complete at least three years of radiation oncology training in a residency program outside the U.S. or Canada.
  • If trained in India, the applicant must have the following degrees to be eligible for the Alternate Pathway: MBBS + DNB and/or MD.

Requirements

  • Complete four years of radiation oncology residency training, fellowship, and/or full-time faculty appointment in one institution with a radiation oncology training program approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) or Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC).
    • Four years of training must be at one institution and completed within eight years from training start date.
    • Up to three years of radiation oncology residency may count. However, four years of radiation oncology does not qualify for the ABR Alternate Pathway, as that is the standard training pathway.
  • Pass the computer-based Qualifying Exam
  • Pass the oral Certifying Exam
  • Provide proof of valid state or provincial medical license
  • Demonstrate high moral and ethical principles. The American Board of Radiology expects candidates for Initial Certification to uphold fundamental moral and ethical principles.
 

Application

The Board will assess the applicant’s status relative to ABR policies and the IMG Alternate Pathways to Board Certification only after receiving the following documents:
  • Radiation Oncology IMG Application Form
  • Current, detailed curriculum vitae with specific dates of all training
  • Verification of the following:
    • Medical school training
    • One year of clinical non-radiation oncology training in general medicine, surgery, transitional internship, or its equivalent. One year of credit for clinical training may be received.
    • Three years of radiation oncology training in a residency program outside the U.S. or Canada
    • Radiation oncology certification (if applicable)
    • Note: The board accepts copies of diplomas or letters from training institutions as verification. If original documents are not in English, an English translation must accompany them.
  • Candidates will be notified when to submit the application fee
  • Copy of Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) certificate or Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC) certificate
  • Sponsoring Department Agreement (SDA), outlining the applicant’s four-year plan.
    • The SDA is intended to be a prospective four-year training plan. Candidates may only use up to two years of retrospective training as part of their SDA.
    • Credit for research training of up to 12 months will be granted toward radiation oncology certification if the research is completed at the same institution as the remaining clinical training.
    • Any changes in the above requirements carried out without the written consent of the ABR will be considered as grounds for termination of the individual’s participation in the Alternate Pathway.
  • Copies of United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE)
    • Steps 1 and 2 score reports are required
    • A passing score on USMLE Step 3 is required six months before admittance to the Certifying Exam.
    • Current unrestricted medical license is required at the time of application and when certification is conferred.
 

Exams

Applicants have the option to take the Medical Physics for Radiation Oncology and the Radiation and Cancer Biology parts of the Qualifying Exam at any time after completing 32 months of residency training. With written approval of their program chair, this option may be exercised after completion of 24 months of training. Applicants who wish to take the exam early should have their program reach out to the ABR. Applicants may take the Clinical Radiation Oncology part of the Qualifying Exam at any time after completion of 44 months of training. To be eligible to take the Certifying Exam, applicants must have passed all three qualifying exam parts and completed their four years of approved training.  

More Information

Recognition of Successful Candidates

Successful candidates are awarded a continuous ABR specialty certificate in radiation oncology.

Board Eligibility

See Board Eligibility Policy for details.  

Application and Exam Fees

Four-Year Plan Appointment
Fee Type Description Amount
Application Fee Due with submission of your application. $2865
Qualifying Exam Fee This fee is charged once your application has been approved. This fee is due 60 days before your Qualifying Exam date and covers both part 1 and part 2 of the exam. $1280
Certifying Exam Fee This fee is charged once you have passed your Qualifying Exam. This fee is due 60 days before your Certifying Exam date. $1280
Re-exam Fee If you do not fully pass an exam, a re-exam fee will be assessed to retake that specific exam. This is a one-time re-exam fee for each exam taken. $640
If you register for an exam and cancel 30 days or more prior to the exam date, any exam fees paid will be applied to your next eligible exam. Candidates who register for an exam and cancel fewer than 30 days prior to the exam date or do not show for the exam appointment forfeit any exam fees paid.
Payment in full or partial payments of $100 or more may be made by Visa™, MasterCard™, American Express™, or eCheck only (U.S. currency). Payment by cashier’s check or money order will not be accepted. If payment is declined for any reason, there will be a $100 processing fee.

Fees After Board Eligibility Ends

Once initial board eligibility ends, a candidate may submit a second application for an additional board eligibility period.
Second Board Eligibility Period Fees
No application fee is charged for a second board eligibility period.
Fee Description Amount
Qualifying Exam Fee $1280
Certifying Exam Fee $1280
Re-exam Fee If you do not fully pass an exam, a re-exam fee will be assessed to retake that specific exam. This is a one-time re-exam fee for each exam taken. $640