Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

General Information about the Residency Program

Overview of the Residency Program

The medical physics residency program in radiation oncology is a comprehensive two-year program designed to educate and train physicists in all aspects of modern radiation oncology physics. The residency program provides didactic instruction in medical physics, anatomy and radiation biology, and clinical experience in a wide spectrum of clinical physics problems. An important goal of the program is to prepare residents for the certification exams offered by the American Board of Radiology and for success as independent radiation oncology physicists.

The program is CAMPEP accredited as of January 1, 2009.

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General Didactic Information

There are 4 didactic courses organized during the period of 2 years: Radiotherapy Physics, Radiobiology, Medical Radiation Engineering, and Image-based Anatomy. Each course includes a midterm and a final exam. A passing grade is required for graduation.

Medical Physics Resident Seminars are held on a weekly basis. They consist of approximately equal numbers of technical (i.e., a review of an AAPM task group report) and clinical (i.e., a review of a cancer treatment site) talks.

In addition, residents participate in a Multidisciplinary Conference during which they present, jointly with a medical resident, a comprehensive overview of a major cancer site, including its epidemiology and etiology, presentation and diagnosis, staging, treatment options and potential complications, and outlook and survival statistics. The Multidisciplinary Conference takes place on approximately a monthly basis, and is part of the Cooperation Program between the medical physics and radiation oncology training programs.

Medical Physics Resident Journal Meetings take place approximately every two weeks, at which residents are expected to take turns presenting a journal article.

Medical Physics Resident Research Seminars occur approximately every four months, at which residents update the group on their research projects.

All didactic activities are considered protected educational time for medical physics residents. Residents are also required to participate in all department conferences in which the physics staff is expected to attend (e.g., chart rounds, Morbidity and Mortality Conference).

General Rotation Information

The clinical component of the program consists of six 4-month rotations in 2 years, and provides comprehensive training in all aspects of radiation oncology physics. The six rotations are:

  1. Basic radiotherapy treatment simulation, planning and delivery for photon and proton
  2. Advanced radiotherapy treatment simulation, planning and delivery
  3. Beam Data/Quality Assurance /Radiation Safety
  4. Brachytherapy/Special Procedures
  5. Clinical Physics at HUP
  6. Clinical Physics at a satellite facility

For each clinical rotation the resident is closely supervised by an assigned member of the medical physics staff and ends with a written examination. At the end of each year there is an oral exam.

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