Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe

A career in interventional radiology

Interventional Radiology is a growing subspecialty at the forefront of modern medicine. Dynamic and innovative in nature, this minimally-invasive alternative to conventional practices requires physicians who possess expertise in both high-end imaging technology as well as clinical involvement with patients.

Interventional radiologists

Interventional radiologists (IRs) are doctors trained in radiology and in minimally invasive procedures. Experts in both imaging technology and clinical involvement, IRs take care of their patients, as well as cooperate closely with specialists from other medical fields. They are experts in reading X-rays, ultrasounds, CT and other medical imaging techniques. This expertise with imaging techniques enables them to guide small catheters (tubes) and guidewires through blood vessels or other organ pathways to treat many diseases. These small catheters are usually only a few millimetres in diameter.

Interventional radiologists have historically been the specialists’ specialist and patients did not have direct contact with them. Now, however, patients can be directly referred to an interventional radiologist, as IRs are increasingly more involved in the clinical management of the patient, evaluating and informing the patient before the procedure and providing post-procedural care, both in cases where the IR works alone or in collaboration with other physicians.

For more information about IR and a detailed list of procedures interventional radiologists perform, please refer to our patient information section.