Medical Specialty

How Competitive is an Interventional Radiology Residency? Updated for 2023

If you want a career as an interventional radiologist, here is how competitive the medical specialty is to match into an interventional radiology residency. Interventional radiology is the branch of medicine that involves minimally invasive procedures under image guidance.

Statistics on the Interventional Radiology Match

In 2022, interventional radiology had a total of 226 applicants and 169 spots. This equates to 1.34 applicants per position. Of the 161 U.S. MD seniors who applied, 30 did not match.

Total Positions Total Number of Applicants Number of Applicants per Position
169 226 1.34

Osteopathic (DO) Students Matching into Interventional Radiology

In 2022, the total number of DO Senior Applicants was 34. Of those, 20 matched, for a 58.82% match percentage. This makes interventional radiology a Not Friendly field for osteopathic students.

Total DO Applicants Matched DO Applicants DO Match Percentage
34 20 58.82%

International Medical Graduates (IMGs) Matching into Interventional Radiology

Because there are 0.95 U.S. MD applicants per 1 program spot, interventional radiology is considered to be Not Friendly for IMGs students.

Honors, Research and Awards for Interventional Radiology Residency Candidates

The average matched U.S. applicant had 7.2 volunteer experiences and 3.6 work experiences. They had 5.5 research experiences and 12.2 abstracts, presentations and publications. That makes this specialty on where the number of publications needed is High.

Research Experiences Abstracts, Presentations and Publications Work Experiences Volunteer Experiences
5.5 12.2 3.6 7.2

Average Step 1 and Step 2 Scores for Interventional Radiology

The mean U.S. Step 1 score for matched medical students in interventional radiology was 245. The mean USMLE Step 2 CK score was 253.

Overall Competitiveness of Interventional Radiology Residency and Chances of Matching

The overall competitiveness level of interventional radiology is High for a U.S. senior. With a Step 1 score of 200, the probability of matching is 63%. With a Step 1 score of >240, the probability is 81%.

How long is a residency in interventional radiology? What is the lifestyle like for an interventional radiology resident?

Compared to other residencies, interventional radiology has a Long training length. As far as lifestyle, interventional radiologists generally have a Medium stress lifestyle. Of course, lifestyle is very subjective and if you love what you do, it does not matter! And if you hate what you do, it can still be rough no matter what. In medicine, you should find the specialty that makes you enjoy your everyday interactions with patients, staff and colleagues.

What is the average salary for an interventional radiologist?

The average salary post-graduation from an interventional radiology residency is $427,000, provided one does not go on to sub-specialty training which can change the salary substantially. Academic versus private practice as well as location also play a large role in physician compensation.

What are fellowships one can do from an interventional radiology residency?

Following the successful completion of general interventional radiology residency, some physicians may choose to continue their graduate medical education with subspecialty training. Board-certified subspecialists complete additional training and qualifying examinations beyond those required for board certification in interventional radiology. Currently, the American Board of Radiology certifies interventional radiologists as dual certified in diagnostic and interventional radiology.

What are the best interventional radiology residencies in the country?

The best residency for interventional radiology, or any specialty, is very driven by personal preference and situation. How close you are to family, loved ones, the type of training environment, the opportunities available are all things to take into consideration above and beyond name recognition of a program. However, there are some highly regarded names in the world of interventional radiology including:

    • Johns Hopkins
    • UCSF
    • Northwestern
    • BIDMC
    • MGH
    • Wash U St. Louis
    • Dotter Institute
    • UCLA

Much of the data above is available from the AAMC Charting the Outcomes report.

Explore Other Specialties:

SpecialtyAverage Step 1 Score (Matched)Average Step 2 Score (Matched)
Child Neurology233246
Diagnostic Radiology241249
Emergency Medicine233247
Family Medicine221238
General Surgery237249
Internal Medicine235248
Internal Medicine/Pediatrics236250
Interventional Radiology247255
Neurological Surgery248252
Obstetrics and Gynecology232248
Orthopaedic Surgery248255
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation228241
Plastic Surgery249256
Radiation Oncology243250
Vascular Surgery239247


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