UW Radiology

ABR 4-Year Pathway at the University of Washington

Our four-year alternate pathway was created to provide international medical graduates (IMGs) an opportunity to complete four years of radiology training and then become eligible to sit for the American Board of Radiology (ABR) board certification examinations. The details of the IMG Alternate Pathway for Board Eligibility can be found on the ABR website at: www.theabr.org Please note that the four years of training have to be completed at one single institution and without interruption.

At the University of Washington, the required four years of training can be accomplished through a combination of years of education in the following training programs: Abdominal Radiology, Cardiothoracic Radiology, Emergency Radiology, Musculoskeletal Radiology,  Neuroradiology, Nuclear Medicine and Pediatric Radiology.

Becoming ABR-certified allows an IMG to practice radiology in private practice or in any hospital (public or private) in the US provided additional requirements regarding medical licensing and immigration status are also satisfied. Please note that most states in the US require two years of ACGME-accredited training in order to apply for an unrestricted license to practice medicine in that state. Therefore, although not always possible, our department of Radiology makes every effort to offer 4-year pathway solutions that include at least two years of ACGME-accredited training. As needed additional ACGME-accredited training can be completed at UW or elsewhere after a UW four-year pathway (or may have been completed at another academic institutions prior to joining UW).

IMG candidates interested in pursuing a four-year alternate ABR pathway at the University of Washington need to submit an application and submit all the supporting documentation listed below.

Nuclear Medicine (NM) is a required component to complete the pathway so all inquiries are routed through this sub-specialty for approval.  If NM does not accept the applicant, then the 4-year pathway is no longer available.  

You may express preferences for the combination of years of radiology training you would favor and we will attempt to offer a four-year pathway that meets this as much as possible. However, our training positions are limited and you may be offered a four-year pathway different from your initial request.  If you agree with the the pathway suggested, you will be offered an interview in Seattle. In person interviews are important for us to determine your strengths and eligibility and for you to discover our programs, UW and Seattle.

Our medical school Graduate Medical Education (GME) office has strict rules regarding four-year pathways. If you decide to not pursue a four-year pathway or did not get one offered to you but instead decide to pursue one or two years of radiology specialty training with us outside of a four-year pathway, we will not be able to offer you a four-year pathway at a later date. In other words, individual fellowship training is not a path to entry into a four-year ABR pathway at UW.  We require the potential fellow to request and be approved for the four years before starting any four-year pathway training at the University of Washington.

The interview process typically lasts 3.5 days and consists of virtual meetings with faculty and staff of different sections. Upon completion of the interview, Program Directors will discuss individual candidates and then will present selected candidates to the Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC) for approval as an exceptional candidate. An exceptional candidate is one who has demonstrated a combination of clinical excellence amongst peers, leadership qualities, a track record of strong research and scholarly activity, and volunteer or administrative work. If a candidate is not approved by the GME Committee, then a formal 4-year pathway cannot be offered to the candidate.

Application process

If you are interested in applying for the 4-year ABR alternate pathway at the University of Washington, please complete the application, Pathway application 122020, and provide the following documentation (pdf copies only;  no jpgs allowed except for professional photo):

  • ABR Pathway Application – handwritten applications are not accepted
  • Current CV 
  • 3 letters of recommendation addressed to Program Director
  • USMLE Score reports: we may offer interviews to candidates who have not sat for Step 3 but successful completion of all USMLE Steps are required prior to commencement of training.
  • Copy of ECFMG certificate
  • Copy of medical school diploma
  • Dean’s letter from medical school
  • Medical school transcripts
  • Personal statement
  • Certificate of completion of residency

Please note that the University of Washington sponsors J-1 visas for trainees. UW does not sponsor new H1-B visas for applicants coming from abroad but will extend an existing H1-B visa from another institution if a four-year pathway is offered to a candidate.  Please refer to the GME visa policy for additional information, https://www.uwmedicine.org/education/Documents/gme/Visa-Policy.pdf

We are accepting applications for program years 2022 and beyond.  Candidates are encouraged to apply before October 1st of the year preceding their desired enrollment year.

Please send all inquiries and application documents to Trixie Rombouts, btrxe@uw.edu.