In 2012, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) designated Interventional Radiology (IR) as a separate specialty (similar to Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Surgery, etc.). In recognition of this change, IR training is transitioning from a fellowship to a dedicated residency program. With the phasing out of the traditional fellowship pathway nationally by 2020, two new residency pathways are now available to become an Interventional Radiologist. The American Board of Radiology (ABR) and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) recognize that a strong Diagnostic Radiology (DR) background is vital to training in Interventional Radiology (IR). This concept, approved by the Residency Review Committee (RRC) of the ACGME, provides the foundation for the IR Independent Pathway.

The IR Independent residency program consists of two years of training after completing a 4-year ACGME accredited diagnostic radiology residency. Physicians graduating from this program will be eligible to receive a combined DR/IR certificate from the ABR, pending successful completion of a final certification exam.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is offering one position for the Independent Pathway. Those who have completed an Early Specialization in Interventional Radiology (ESIR) program during their diagnostic radiology residency may be given credit for one year of IR Independent interventional radiology residency. This will be determined once the trainee has started their two-year IR Independent residency training and all Independent residency trainees must be prepared for the possibility of completing two years of training.