Initial Certification for Radiation Oncology

International Medical Graduates Alternate Pathway

Last verified on June 9, 2021
An international medical graduate (IMG) is defined as an individual trained in radiation oncology programs outside the U.S., its territories, or Canada.  

Requirements

To be considered a candidate for certification by the American Board of Radiology, an applicant must demonstrate the following:
  • 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: M.B.B.S. + D.N.B. and/or M.D.
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:
    • 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)
      • Four consecutive 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). (See Sponsoring Department Agreement below.)
      • 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.
      • 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, including the applicant’s four-year plan.
      • 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.
      • In addition to the four-year plan, applicants must also submit a letter of commitment for four years of continuous service signed by the host department chair. This letter of commitment may include a statement of condition for termination for cause, although availability of funds should not fall into this category.
      • The applicant’s department chair must complete and submit annual verification forms.
      • 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.
      • Eligibility to sit for the physics and cancer and radiation biology computer-based qualifying exams will begin following 36 months of he approved program.
All documentation should be mailed to:
American Board of Radiology
5441 East Williams Circle
Tucson, AZ 85711-7412
or faxed to:
(520) 790-3200
Attn: IMG Alternate Pathway  

Exams

      1. Eligibility to sit for the initial certification qualifying (computer-based) exams in physics, and cancer and radiation biology will begin after completion of 36 months of the approved 4-year program.
      2. Eligibility to sit for the clinical qualifying examination will begin following passing both of the basic science exams and 4 full years of the approved program.
      3. Eligibility to take the certifying (oral) exam will not begin until all three qualifying exams have been successfully passed. See policy.
 

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.
 

Forms

Radiation Oncology IMG Application Form
Radiation Oncology IMG Sponsoring Department Agreement  

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