Radiation Oncology Residency Program
Curriculum & Didactic Activities
Residents will rotate through 36 months of clinical radiation oncology divided evenly over 4 years between the 3 radiation oncology departments. As well, residents are required to rotate in medical oncology (1 month), pediatric oncology (2 months), gynecologic oncology (1 month), otolaryngology (1 month), diagnostic radiology (1 month) and pathology (1 month). Residents can arrange for electives (3 months) at the hospitals of the University of California Medical Center, San Francisco, Stanford University Medical Center or any other academic medical centers throughout the U.S. In addition, residents participate in at least one clinical review each year supervised by the program director.
Residents will also have a total of five months of research. The research may be clinical, academic or laboratory-based. Research rotations are currently divided between the second and fourth years of residency. Residents are required to have at least one publishable manuscript by the completion of residency training. This rotation is under the guidance of any of the clinical radiation oncology faculty. Residents also have the option to participate in laboratory-based research if they so choose--supervised by Li-Xi Yang, M.D., PhD, the Department’s Research Director and senior investigator in the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute. There is also a 2 month research course taught 2 hours per week to outline how clinical research projects and outcomes should be carried out. This taught and supervised by Warren Browner, M.D. -- the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Scientific Director.
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Residents are relieved of all clinical responsibilities during protected didactic activities. Faculty will assume coverage of patient care when residents are attending these lectures or activities.
- 20-lecture series in radiation physics:
Radiation oncology residents are required to attend a 20-lecture series in radiation physics that covers all aspects of physics and dosimetry in radiation oncology. The lecture series covers all material required by the Residency Review Committee (RRC) for Radiation Oncology. The didactic series is supplemented by a one-month clinical physics rotation available in the last year of training, just before residents sit for the written Radiation Oncology Board exam.
- Radiobiology and biostatistics courses:
Radiobiology and biostatistics courses are also required for residents each year. These are taught by Dr. Li-Xi Yang, the Research Director of the Program, and offer a comprehensive approach to radiobiology and an introduction to statistics required for competent review of clinical literature. All topics required by the RRC are also covered in this lecture series.
- Lectures in clinical radiation oncology:
Faculty members along with lecturers from outside the Program present lectures providing an overview of issues in clinical radiation oncology as well as offering residents an opportunity to learn about the latest treatments available to patients.
- Monthly journal club:
Residents participate in a monthly journal club in which they select two to three articles (with assistance from the program director or other faculty) that they review and present. The objectives of the journal club include an emphasis on evaluating the clinical literature and evidence based medicine.
- Specialized tumor boards:
Specialized tumor boards at all three hospitals provide an opportunity for the resident to observe and ultimately participate in presenting cases in a number of oncology specialties.
- Case conferences:
Case conferences represent a major focus for the training program. Often presented by residents, the cases are discussed in the presence of a number of faculty members. The case conferences are also used as a forum for presentation of difficult cases in which consultation with other faculty members is desired.
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