IR Pathway Options


The information below is current as of November 13, 2015.  Before reading, it is important to understand the current IR training structure is undergoing a shift toward the IR Residency.  On or before July 1, 2020, the ‘old’ IR training pathways (Direct Pathway, Clinical Pathway, Traditional Pathway) will no longer be available, and all future IR trainees will have to go through the IR Residency, of which three separate pathways will exist.  Please visit SIR’s dedicated IR Residency Page for further details on the new IR Residency.

For the traditional fourth year medical student applying for the 2016 radiology match, few (if any) Integrated IR Residency programs will be available.  You will most likely have to transition to an Integrated IR Residency at your radiology program internally or apply for an Independent IR Residency program during your radiology residency to begin during your PGY-6 year (2021). 

It is important to contact individual programs to determine the transitional status of their residency and fellowship programs.

The VIR pathways are structured to offer participants a substantial amount of time in the interventional radiology department and key clinical rotations. The training is designed to enable the candidate to admit and manage patients for medical problems treated by interventional radiologists using image guided therapeutic procedures. The programs are maintained to qualify the participants for the diagnostic radiology boards.

The goal of these programs is to deliver better patient health care and have an impact on the way interventional radiology is practiced.

Traditional Pathway

Click the Fellowship Directory for a full list of all training programs. The traditional pathway is widely available and involves a clinical internship, 4 years of Diagnostic Radiology followed by a one-year Interventional Radiology Fellowship.

DIRECT Pathway

The essential purpose of the DIRECT Pathway (Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology Enhanced Clinical Training) is to allow up to two years of clinical training to count toward the Diagnostic Radiology certificate and subspecialty VIR certificate. Never before has the ABR permitted more than one year of credit for non-radiology clinical years. This effectively decreases a barrier of "lost time" for those residents who become interested in the IR specialty, but have already completed clinical time in another specialty. Application for entry into the pilot program is now possible.

Clinical Pathway

The primary intent of the Clinical Pathway is to provide a broader and more in-depth experience in the clinical diagnosis and care of patients with diseases commonly treated by interventional radiologists. The secondary intent of the pathway is to allow the trainee an opportunity to become more familiar with and/or participate in research to further the field of interventional radiology.