Interventional Radiology Progresses as New ABR Specialty
One year in, read how IR is making gains as a unique specialty.
Opportunity to Convert to IR/DR CertificateThe ABR approved the IR/DR certificate to recognize IR as a unique medical specialty in 2012 and the ACGME approved the first group of IR Integrated Residency programs in November 2015.
After issuing the final Vascular and Interventional Radiology (VIR) subspecialty certificate in 2016, the ABR last October offered physicians who held DR primary certification, as well as VIR subspecialty certification, the opportunity to convert to the new IR/DR primary certificate.
Of the 2,679 individuals who were eligible to convert to the new specialty certificate, 2,601 had completed the process as of press time. Those who did not convert to the new certificate primarily either do not practice IR or are nearing retirement, ABR officials said.
The ABR has also approved a temporary policy creating an IR/DR transition pathway for radiologists who completed an ACGME-accredited VIR fellowship 10 or more years ago but never pursued or earned a VIR subspecialty certificate.
According to ABR leaders, this has been one of the “hot topics” surrounding the creation of the new IR/DR certificate.
DR Certification Status After IR/DR ConversionConverting to the new IR/DR specialty certificate has not been without contention, specifically among some individuals who hold lifetime DR certificates,
“When someone with a Diagnostic Radiology certificate earns an IR/DR certificate, we sunset, or don’t display, the Diagnostic Radiology certificate, and that’s where some confusion occurred in the lifetime certificate holder group,” Laszakovits said.
Those individuals, noting that the IR/DR certificate is not a lifetime certificate, were concerned that they might never get that lifetime DR certificate back if they decided they no longer wanted to practice IR.
Those concerns are unfounded, Laszakovits said.
“If somebody who had a lifetime diagnostic radiology certificate converted to an IR/DR certificate and at some point in the future — for whatever reason — decides they no longer want to be certified in IR, just let us know. We’ll discontinue their IR/DR certificate and reissue and redisplay their lifetime diagnostic radiology certificate.”
IR Zone Planned for RSNA 2018
New for RSNA 2018, RSNA will feature a dedicated area for exhibitors with a focus on interventional radiology (IR). Located in the South Hall adjacent to the First Time Exhibitor Pavilion, the IR Zone will make it easier for interventional radiologists to locate and interact with companies offering products specific to their subspecialty.