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Interpreting Physician: Nuclear Medicine and PET (Revised 12-17-19)

Revision History

All physicians who supervise and/or interpret nuclear medicine and/or PET examinations must be licensed medical practitioners who meet the following minimum criteria:

Initial Qualifications

Interpreting Nuclear Medicine/PET Physician

Non-Nuclear Medicine Physician/Radiologist 

Interpreting Cardiovascular Nuclear Medicine/PET Only

Board certified in radiology, diagnostic radiology, nuclear radiology, or nuclear medicine by the American Board of Radiology (ABR), American Board of Nuclear Medicine (ABNM), American Osteopathic Board of Radiology (AOBR), American Osteopathic Board of Nuclear Medicine (AOBNM), Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC), or College des Medecins du Quebec (CMQ). For physicians graduating from residency after 6/30/14, board certified/eligible as defined by the ABR.


Nuclear Medicine Only: Physicians trained prior to 1975 may be accepted as qualified if they interpreted at least an average of 50 scintigrams per month for the past 10 years.


PET Only: If not board-certified or board-certified prior to 2007, must also:

  • Document 20 hours of CME in PET

  • In the past 3 years the following numbers of studies must be interpreted or multi-read: if interpreting cardiac PET exams, at least 20 studies; if interpreting brain PET exams, at least 30 studies; if interpreting oncologic PET exams, at least 80 studies.

  • If interpreting brain and oncologic PET exams, interpretation must include direct image correlation with CT or MRI. Teaching cases are acceptable with documented interpretation.

  • Board certified in cardiology by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC), or College des Medecins du Quebec (CMQ). For Nuclear Medicine, American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine (AOBIM) certification is also acceptable.


  • Certification in nuclear cardiology by the Certification Board of Nuclear Cardiology (CBNC)



  • Cardiologists who trained prior to July 1995 must be board certified in cardiology and have the equivalent of Level 2 training.

PET Only: 

  • 20 hours CME in PET

  • In the past 3 years, at least 20 cardiac PET exams must be interpreted or multi-read.

Continuous Experience

On renewal, physicians reading nuclear medicine must document one of the following:

  • Meets Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements for the ABR, ABNM or ABIM, or Osteopathic Continuous Certification (OCC) for AOBR

  • Read a minimum of 200 studies/3 years in nuclear medicine/PET

PET Only: Physicians reading organ system-specific exams (i.e., body, abdominal, musculoskeletal, head) across multiple modalities must read a minimum of 60 organ system-specific PET exams in 36 months; however, they must read a total of 200 cross-sectional imaging (MRI, CT, PET/CT and ultrasound) studies over the prior 36 months.

Additional information regarding continuing experience requirements

Continuous Education

On renewal, documents one of the following:

  • Meets MOC requirements for the ABR, ABNM or ABIM, or the OCC for AOBR

  • 150 hrs CME (including 75 Cat 1) in the prior 36 months pertinent to the physician’s practice patterns (See ACR Guideline)

  • 15 hrs CME (half of which must be Cat 1) in the prior 36 months specific to the imaging modality or organ system

Additional information regarding continuing education requirements

In addition, all physicians supervising and/or interpreting nuclear medicine examinations must satisfy all applicable state and federal regulations, as well as any institutional policies that pertain to the in vivo use of radiopharmaceuticals, the use and dosage of contrast, if applicable, the performance of imaging procedures and the safe handling of radioactive materials.


Facilities monitoring cardiac stress studies must have one individual that has current Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification present during the stress testing.

Occasional Readers who are providing imaging services to and for the practice readers are not required to meet the interpreting physician initial qualifications or continuing experience requirements.  However, the reads of all occasional readers combined should not exceed 5% of the total volume of reads per practice and per modality. There must be an active written review process in place at the institution for occasional readers based on each institution’s credentialing requirements. Validation of this process will take place during any site visit by the ACR.

Revision History for this Article



Description of Revision(s)



Article created; FAQs incorporated; No criteria changes


Non-Nuclear Medicine Physician/Radiology Interpreting Cardiovascular Nuclear Medicine Only

Corrected bullet items 

Next: Technologist: Nuclear Medicine/PET

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