UW Radiology

ABR Alternate 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).

For candidates seeking board certification prior to January 1, 2024, the training must include four months of clinical nuclear radiology training. These four months of nuclear radiology should be the same as those completed by diagnostic radiology residents at the sponsoring institution.

    • One-week increments of training at 40 hours a week is the minimum acceptable training increment permitted.
    • All nuclear radiology training must be clinical training; research is not applicable.
    • Training at an affiliated institution is acceptable.
    • Nuclear radiology and/or PET/CT studies interpreted or reviewed during a fellowship or multidisciplinary conference as a part of clinical assignments in rotations not dedicated to nuclear radiology (such as chest, abdominal, or cardiac imaging) cannot be used to satisfy this requirement.
    • Candidates must meet the diagnostic radiology residency curriculum requirements for nuclear radiology therapy of 131I administrations. Under preceptor supervision, candidates must perform at least three therapies involving oral administration of 131I in quantities less than or equal to 33 millicuries (mCi), and at least three therapies in quantities greater than 33mCi.

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 a virtual interview with participating sections.

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 GMEC Committee, then a formal 4-year pathway cannot be offered to the candidate.

Application process

We are accepting applications for program years 2025 and beyond.   The application deadline for consideration for 2025 and beyond is October 1, 2024.  We will start reviewing applications for 2025 and beyond in July 2024. 

If you are interested in applying for the ABR Alternate Pathway at the University of Washington, please complete the application, Pathway application 1042021, 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, including a letter from your Fellowship Program Director.  Please address these to Program Director.
  • USMLE Score reports: we require successful completion of all USMLE Steps before an application may be considered for a potential pathway.
  • 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

The Department of Radiology’s 4-year ABR alternate pathway program is eligible for H-1B visa sponsorship.

For information about housing in the Seattle area: https://hr.uw.edu/housing/affordable-rental-housing/

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