Interventional Radiology

Frequently asked Questions by MS1s and MS2s

Exposure to the field and creating positive relationships with Interventional Radiologists are very important. Doing exceptionally well in third year clerkships, specifically Surgery and Internal Medicine are important as well. Research is highly valued. For those medical schools that have class standing and AOA, these are important objective factors. Reviewing the Society of Interventional Radiology website can provide helpful information. Shadowing of Interventional Radiologists, participating in medical school IR interest groups, and volunteering all may be helpful to understand the field better, and to enhance one’s application for a residency position.
Learn more about the Society of Interventional Radiology

As this is the newest residency and is highly competitive, research should be considered essential. Any grants or scholarships that the applicant has received in IR for research will markedly enhance the application.

Communicating directly with Interventional Radiologists is a prime method to become involved with research. The Scholarly Project office may have ideas and a list of Interventional Radiologists who would like medical students to be involved with their research. Included in the group of UACOMP Career and Professional Advisors is a radiologist who does breast intervention and an academic body interventional radiologist who has mentored numerous medical students.

A strong academic foundation is the most important priority. If a student feels they can adequately balance academics while participating in community service or extracurricular activities it may help to develop a well rounded application and positively contribute to the community.

As this residency is in its seminal years, limited data are available.  Nonetheless, a target Step I score of 250 or greater is advisable.

Frequently asked Questions by MS3s and MS4s

Letters should be requested no later than the summer before the ERAS application is due. If the applicant has worked with a research mentor, a well-known Interventional Radiologist and/or Diagnostic Radiologist, it is wise to request a letter soon after working with that person so that the experience is fresh in the letter writer’s mind. When asking for a Letter of Recommendation it is ideal to do it in person. It is appropriate to ask specifically if they would be comfortable writing you a “strong letter of recommendation”. Letters should be uploaded directly to ERAS directly by the letter writer by the beginning of September of your fourth year, so make sure to give your letter writers ample time to write their letters, and be sure to thank them for their effort.

You will need a minimum of 3, preferably 4, and at least 2 should be from Radiologists.

Yes, and especially from a surgeon with whom the applicant has worked.  A letter from a Diagnostic Radiologist is beneficial as well when applying for the IR residency. Additionally, a strong letter from the Internal Medicine clerkship director or from the applicant’s Sub I director or research mentor can be quite helpful.

No, a chair letter is not required. However, the most highly valued letters are going to be from academic leaders in Radiology.

Away rotations are not required. Some of the benefits of doing an away rotation include networking in an area of the country where you would like to end up, as well as figuring out if a particular residency program is a good fit. It is also a great opportunity to get a letter of recommendation from an academic Anesthesia program. We recommend working closely with your Career Advisor and Specialty Advisor to help with this decision. If the applicant has strong feelings about wanting to match into a particular institution or wants to do a residency in a specific geographic area, then it is advisable to do an away rotation at those sites. Performing extremely well during that away rotation can have a strong positive impact into eventually matching into that program.

Program Information specific to Interventional Radiology

Radiology utilizes numerous diagnostic and image-guided therapeutic procedures through the use of ultrasound, computed tomography, magnetic resonance, and fluoroscopy.  Residency is 5 years long.  Diagnostic Radiology (DR) is a 4 year residency (Advanced Program) with the need for a preliminary or transitional 1 year internship in either Internal Medicine or General Surgery.  Categorical programs in Diagnostic Radiology are far less common.  Diagnostic Radiology is a competitive specialty, so strong Step scores are essential, as is specialty specific research.


Interventional Radiology (IR) is a subspecialty of Radiology and can be pursued in the following ways:

1. In fellowship after residency offered through 6/30/2020

2. Through integrated IR residency

3. Through independent IR residency, offered starting 7/1/2020

4. Through independent IR residency with Early Specialization in Interventional Radiology (ESIR), also offered starting 7/1/2020

Additional Resources:

AMSER Guide to Applying for Radiology Residency

Learn more about the Society of Interventional Radiology

Please click here to visit the American Board of Radiology website and review IR certification requirements