Integrated IR Residency

IR Faculty - Back row: Drs. Keith Quencer, Anne Roberts, Daniel Madsen, and Gerant Rivera-Sanfeliz

Front row: Drs. Hamed Aryafar, Jeet Minocha, Isabel Newton, Elliot DeYoung, and Claire Kaufman


The specialty of interventional radiology (IR) has undergone significant changes. The American Board of Medical Specialists (ABMS) now recognizes interventional radiology as a distinct, stand-alone medical specialty, and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has established program requirements for this new specialty. The Department of Radiology at UC San Diego is one of the first programs in the country to be approved for the Integrated IR residency.

The Integrated IR Residency is five-years in length (a total of six years of post-graduate training) is designed for medical students and is now available. Students apply thru the NRMP main match and begin residency training in the PGY two year. The five-year residency curriculum is concentrated on diagnostic radiology in the first three years and interventional radiology in the last two years. Graduates of an IR residency qualify to take the IR/DR examination offered by the American Board of Radiology (ABR). The IR/DR certificate recognizes competency in both diagnostic radiology and interventional radiology, and certificate holders can practice in both areas.

During the 4th and 5th year of training, the IR resident is exposed to the clinical framework within which interventional radiology is practiced. The development of clinical skills, decision making, understanding how and when to perform a procedure, pre-operative and post-operative handling of the patient, as well as the proper identification and management of complications are integral parts of the training. The program stresses the comprehensive application of various imaging modalities, especially those used for interventional procedures, and the fundamentals of radiation physics. Radiation biology and radiation protection are reviewed. By the end of the year, fellows are capable of handling routine and complex vascular and non-vascular procedures. The complete integration of technical and clinical management skills is of particular importance in this program.

The Division of Vascular and Interventional Radiology at the University of California, San Diego, has seven full-time attending physicians. There are six interventional suites located at three hospitals: UC San Diego Medical Center Hillcrest, UC San Diego Thornton Hospital, and the VA San Diego Healthcare System. In the fall of 2016, we opened two suites at the new UC San Diego Jacobs Medical Center. As part of the training program, Interventional Radiology (IR) Residents will work on a one-to-one basis with the attending physicians while rotating through these hospitals. In addition, IR residents will spend approximately three months at the Balboa US Navy Medical Center, where they will be exposed to multiple vascular and neurovascular procedures.

At UCSD, we perform diagnostic vascular procedures and a variety of vascular interventions, including angioplasty, stents, embolizations, and thrombolysis. IVC filter placement and vascular access procedures are also performed. Paracentesis, thoracentesis, abscess drainage, nephrostomy tube placement, biliary interventions and gastrostomies are a few examples of the non-vascular interventions. Specialized services include Interventional Oncology, Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia Clinic, Vein Center, Uterine Artery Embolization Clinic, and others. Noninvasive vascular imaging includes vascular lab studies, Doppler US, CT angiography, and MR angiography.

Eligibility & Application Process

Applicants must apply through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) and participate in the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP). Applicants for our specialty tracks, Research and DIRECT Pathway, must also apply through ERAS and participate in the NRMP.

Applicants must be in their fourth year of medical school or a graduate of an American or Canadian medical school (including osteopathic schools). In addition, the applicant must either be eligible for licensure or hold a valid medical license in the State of California.

International Medical Graduates will be considered on an individual basis. UCSD accepts ECFMG-sponsored J-1 visas. Please note that H-1B visas are not available to trainees at our institution.

This residency program requires a non-radiology clinical internship prior to beginning radiology training. The application process for the internship is entirely separate from this radiology residency application process. Your internship does not need to be at UC San Diego Medical Center. Most of our residents complete a Preliminary Medicine, Surgery, or Transitional Internship.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Please submit all application materials by October 15.

Our Selection Committee will review all applications, including the Student Performance Evaluation Letters (Dean's Letter) in early November. If selected, you will be contacted to schedule a personal interview.

Please do not anticipate any correspondence from our Selection Committee concerning interviews until the end of November. We receive over 500 applications each year and interview approximately 80 applicants annually.  All interviews are scheduled during the month of January.

Please contact Dion Brown with questions about our residency and your application.

Dion Brown
UCSD Residency Program Coordinator
(619) 543-3534
UCSD Hillcrest Radiology
200 West Arbor Drive, 8756
San Diego, CA 92103

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Gerant Rivera-Sanfeliz, M.D.
Program Director, IR Residency

Clinical Professor