Interventional radiology (IR) is an exciting area of modern medicine delivering precise, targeted treatment for complex diseases and conditions throughout the body. Using minimally invasive image-guided techniques, interventional radiologists provide high quality care with less morbidity and often at a lower cost than many surgical alternatives.
IR is practiced across a spectrum, from basic procedures performed by clinical radiologists through to complex vascular, oncological and neurological interventions performed by versatile specialist radiologists with advanced skills in IR and interventional neuroradiology (INR).
IR is an exciting combination of clinical interaction, procedural work and imaging. As one of the most innovative and fastest growing medical professions, IR provides radiologists with a unique opportunity to pioneer and deliver treatment techniques utilising cutting edge technology.
More than just proceduralists, IRs and INRs are clinically focused radiologists integrated into the patient care team. And the future for IR is bright. Health services are increasingly recognising the value of IR and INR as the future of modern medicine – delivering cost-effective, minimally invasive treatments, with shorter procedural and recovery times and better patient-focussed outcomes than many surgical alternatives.
To be a competent and effective IR or INR, you need:
The interventional training journey starts within the RANZCR Clinical Radiology Training Program, where registrars develop a range of basic procedural and clinical competencies. This training program lays the foundations required for interventional practice, which can be built upon through Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities or by undertaking a Fellowship in IR or INR upon receiving the FRANZCR.
These Fellowship positions equip radiologists to perform complex procedures requiring specialised interventional skills. With hospitals increasingly recognising the value of IR and INR in delivering cost-efficiencies and optimal patient outcomes, radiologists who complete these Fellowships often go on to practice in full time IR or INR consultant positions.
Fellowships for Interventional Radiology are typically one year in duration. Once Fellowship in completed, some IRs choose to sit the European Board of Interventional Radiology (EBIR) examination, hosted by the Interventional Radiology Society of Australasia (IRSA) at their annual meeting.
Fellowships for Interventional Neuroradiology are a minimum two years in duration. Once Fellowship is completed, INRs can apply for a recognition of training in INR through the Conjoint Committee for the Recognition of Training in Interventional Neuroradiology (CCINR).
Fellowships are offered at most major hospitals and some regional centres. For a list of current Fellowship opportunities, please visit the RANZCR Jobs website.
In 2016, the College established the Interventional Radiology Committee (IRC) to work across the spectrum of intervention-related issues, from basic interventions performed by all radiologists to high-level complex procedures. The IRC was established to improve the recognition and support for IRs and INRs within the College structure, and to better advocate for these rapidly evolving specialties.
The IRC provides advice to the Faculty of Clinical Radiology Council and represents the interests of College members working in IR and INR – improving the flow of information, raising the voice and profile of IR and INR in key forums, interacting with stakeholders, and ensuring that decision-making is guided by the needs of patients and the best patient outcomes achievable.
The RANZCR Standards of Practice for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology are the standards by which IR and INR services are expected to be delivered in Australia and New Zealand. Please note, some sections of the standards are currently being reviewed by the IRC and key stakeholders.
InsideRadiology is a resource developed by the College on clinical radiology tests, procedures and interventions, providing up-to-date information to health consumers and health professionals and improving patient-doctor communication.
A range of Interventional Radiology and Interventional Neuroradiology procedures are detailed on the InsideRadiology website.
For a range of resources, information and education opportunities relating to IR and INR, see below links to local and international interventional societies: