IRIG – Interventional Radiology Interest Group


President Malcolm Kates
co-Treasurers Sujay Kamisetty & Krishna Hanubal

Welcome to the Interventional Radiology Interest Group!

Interventional Radiology was recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties as a unique specialty in 2012 and has been approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education as a residency that can be entered directly from medical school. With these changes, we want University of Florida students to be prepared for this new option of residencies. The interventional radiology interest group was started to raise medical student awareness about the specialty and the different training pathways available to them. Most importantly, we hope to provide opportunities for medical students to be exposed to IR early in their training.

What is Interventional Radiology?

Interventional radiology is a rapidly growing field of medicine that focuses on minimally invasive and targeted treatments. Interventional radiologists use their expertise in medical imaging to perform a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. These procedures are much less invasive and often less costly than major surgery. In fact, many of the procedures performed by interventional radiologists do not require full anesthesia and can even be done on an outpatient basis. Interventional radiologists are at the forefront of innovation by utilizing imaging to improve the health of their patients. Their interventions range from complex endovascular procedures on the major arteries of the body to treating certain types of cancer in the liver.

What are some of the procedures that an interventional radiologist does?

Interventional radiologists can perform procedures on almost every major organ system in the body. The division of interventional radiology at the University of Florida has an extensive list of the different therapies performed by interventional radiologists. The link can be found here.

What is the difference between body and visceral IR?

There are significant differences in the two specialties – both in terms of training and day to day procedures. Body IR involves using primarily ultrasound and computed tomography (CT) to take biopsies, drain abscesses, place chest tubes, or perform paracentesis or thoracentesis. These physicians apply to diagnostic radiology residencies and a one year fellowship in body imaging.

Visceral IR primarily uses ultrasound, CT and fluoroscopy to do their procedures. When calling consults, you’ll need to call visceral IR for any procedures on the blood vessels (including central venous lines, AV fistula management, and embolization of bleeding vessels), the liver (including TIPS, Y90 for some forms of liver cancers), and percutaneous biliary and percutaneous nephrostomy. These physicians have multiple training paths now available to them (see below).

In some hospitals, interventional radiologists do both what is traditionally considered “body” IR and “visceral” IR procedures so it can be a bit confusing when starting your clinical rotations.

Training Pathways in Vascular and Interventional Radiology

In the past, the traditional method of becoming an interventional radiologist involved completing a fellowship after finishing a residency in diagnostic radiology. The new changes now provide 3 options for medical students who want to pursue interventional radiology. The Society of Interventional Radiology has excellent resources for helping medical students figure out the new options for IR training.

  • Option 1:
    • Integrated – Prelim year + 4 years of radiology + 1 year of IR. These students apply directly out of medical school and will be board certified in diagnostic radiology and interventional radiology when they finish their training.
  • Option 2:
    • ESIR (early specialization in IR) – Prelim year + 4 years of radiology + 1 year IR. These students apply to diagnostic radiology programs, and then during their radiology residency can apply for ESIR.
  • Option 3:
    • Independent – Prelim year + 4 years of radiology + 2 years of IR. These students apply to IR after completing their diagnostic radiology residency.

Other Resources