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    Frequently Asked Questions


    Are your residents happy with your program?

    Yes, based on frequent reviews with faculty and the program director, our residents are very happy with their residency program. They have indicated that they enjoy working in a very flexible and supportive environment. They also cited the close and supportive of relationships with peers and health care professionals as well as living in the San Francisco Bay Area as a positives. We encourage applicants to ask our residents this question if they attend an interview.

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    How much vacation time is allowed per year?

    Three weeks per year.

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    Is there funding for educational meetings?

    All residents will receive automatic funding to attend the annual ASTRO meeting every academic year with the exception of the first year resident (PGY-2) who will take on-call coverage that week. The first year resident will receive funding to attend an alternate national meeting of his/her choice (eg. ASCO, RSNA, etc). As well, if a resident or intern is first author on an abstract accepted for oral or poster presentation at a national meeting (including ASTRO) travel, food and lodging and meeting registration will be reimbursed by the department of Graduate Medical Education for an additional oncology related-meeting that academic year.

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    How often do residents take call?

    Residents take on average 1 week (7 calendar days) of call every 4 weeks. There are 4 residents in the program. Residents will take call from home, receiving calls from our answering service directly from patients or physicians from 5pm - 9am. On average there are 10 phone calls per week of call with the resident having to come in the hospital on average of less than once per week of call. The call system is weighted so that there is more call in the first and second year of residency with less call in the third year and even less in the fourth year. Over the four years, each resident will have had the same number of call weeks.

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    How well do your residents perform on the boards?

    Our 4-year pass rate on the oral and written pass-rate is 100% -- with all residents passing both components 100% passing the written on their first try. Residents participate in RAPHEX reviews to prepare for the written exams.

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    Where do graduates from CPMC practice?

    Our recent residents (last 10 years) have predominantly remained in California or Nevada. We have graduates in large metropolitan cities to smaller communities throughout the U.S.

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    How are the residents evaluated?

    We use the E*value system. At the end of each clinical rotation, the faculty and residents are e-mailed evaluation forms that are completed online. The radiation therapists, nurses, physicists and dosimetrists also complete evaluations of the resident. The faculty provide constructive feedback and outline strengths and weaknesses in the completed rotations. Residents are encouraged to leave honest feedback regarding their rotations-- the E-value system "saves" resident evaluations of faculty until at least 3 residents have completed that rotation--then an average of those three evaluations is forwarded to the faculty member. In this way, the residents can leave feedback without the faculty knowing exactly which resident left the specific comment. Overall, the residents have been very happy with the faculty and the program in general.

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    Do residents have input into the residency program?

    Yes. Residents have have given valuable input in the curriculum. The current 4 year program was devised with feedback from the previous graduating residents. The chief resident participates in most of the faculty meetings and also participates in the Graduate Medical Education Meetings for CPMC -- held once a month. The chief resident also coordinates all the speakers for the clinical didactic sessions held once a week through the entire year.

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    Are there student clerkships at California Pacific?

    Yes. We offer 4 week rotations to fourth year medical students. Students come from many U.S. medical schools.

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    How is teaching carried out during the rotations?

    Residents will rotate with one or more attending radiation oncologists during their rotations at each of the 3 hospital departments. Residents will obtain history and physicals, participate in simulations, contour tumor volumes and critical organs, manage patients through treatments and participate in follow-up care. They will also be taught by radiation dosimetrists and physicists in the areas of treatment planning and radiation physics.

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    What is the residency environment like?

    Residents enjoy the small size of the program as the number of faculty attendings exceed the number of residents. The environment at California Pacific is professional, relaxed and friendly. Most attendings are easily approachable and are eager to teach residents and provide a positive, constructive environment for learning.

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    What is there to do outside the hospital?

    The San Francisco Bay Area offers an amazing array of physical, cultural and social activities. Within the city, San Francisco offers world class museums and restaurants. Mountains and beaches are within easy reach. The wine country in Napa and Sonoma Valley (1.5 hours) and Lake Tahoe and the Sierras (3.5 hours+) are easily accessible from the City.

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