Main content

    Curriculum

    Residents will rotate through 36 months of clinical radiation oncology divided evenly over 4 years between the 4 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 (2 months) at 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., Ph.D., 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 Dr. Richard Shaw.

    Didactic Activities

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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 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 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.

    Tumor Boards & Case Conferences

    CPMC offers multiple multi-disciplinary tumor boards (General, Breast, Neuro-oncology, gynecologic, pediatric, gastro-intestinal, genitourinary, otolaryngology and cardiothoracic. Each tumor board is attended by medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists and other specialists of the respective specialties. Residents rotating at CPMC are encouraged to participate and present in each of the tumor boards.

    Residents at the other hospitals also have multi-disciplinary tumor boards available at St Francis Memorial Hospital & Seton Medical Center.