Curriculum and Courses

Curriculum:

The program consists of rotations where the resident is expected to spend the majority of the time in ‘hands-on’ clinical activities and responsibilities. The program includes courses which consist of applied and practical courses delivered within the Radiation Oncology Clinic as well as lecture-based and web-based didactic courses.

Clinical Rotations:

The resident will complete 8 three-month rotations. For each rotation, the resident will be under the supervision of a physics faculty member. These rotations are cross-listed as RONC 701, 703, 704, and 705 courses.

Rotation 1 Year 1, July-Sept

  • Employee/Departmental/Residency Orientation
  • Introduction to Rad. Onc. Clinic—Radiation Protection
  • Introduction to Rad. Onc. Clinic—Nursing
  • Introduction to Rad. Onc. Clinic—Simulation
  • Introduction to Rad. Onc. Clinic—LINAC
  • Introduction to AAPM, ACMP, and ASTRO organizations
  • LINAC Daily QA, warm-ups
  • LINAC Monthly QA
  • Monitor Unit Calculations
  • Chart Orientation
  • Brachytherapy: Prostate

Rotation 2 Year 1, Oct-Dec

  • LINAC QA: TG-51 Calibration
  • CT simulator QA
  • Brachytherapy: prostate, gyn, interstitial (LDR)
  • Treatment Planning: ADAC External Beam
  • IMRT QA
  • In vivo or patient specific dosimetry
  • Accredited Dosimetric Calibration Laboratory (ADCL) services

Rotation 3 Year 1, Jan-Mar

  • Machine QA: annual checks
  • LINAC Design and Function
  • Function of the Radiological Physics Center (RPC)
  • Practical use of detectors: ion chambers, diodes, film, MOSFETs, TLD.
  • Brachytherapy: intravascular (historical)
  • Brachytherapy continued: prostate, gyn, interstitial (LDR)
  • Special procedures: EPID, TBI, TSE
  • Treatment Planning: ADAC External Beam continued

Rotation 4 Year 1, Apr-Jun

  • Machine QA: annual checks, continued
  • QA for special equipment: EPID, BAT, Calypso, MIMiC
  • External beam treatment planning: ADAC
  • Monitor unit calculations
  • HDR morning QA
  • Special procedures: TBI, TSE continued
  • Special Topic: normal tissue toxicity (for treatment planning)

Rotation 5 Year 2, July-Sept

  • External beam treatment planning: ADAC
  • IMRT planning: ADAC
  • Treatment Plan checks
  • Chart checks
  • LINAC QA: monthly and annual care
  • Special Procedures: Eye Plaques

Rotation 6 Year 2, Oct-Dec

  • External beam treatment planning: Novalis
  • IMRT planning: ADAC continued
  • Treatment planning system QA: ADAC
  • HDR morning QA and planning
  • Special procedures Novalis: SRS, image-guided therapy
  • Shielding: CT, LINAC, Isotopes

Rotation 7 Year 2, Jan-Mar

  • Equipment QA: beam scanning system
  • IMRT planning: Novalis, Corvus
  • Special procedures Novalis: SRS, image-guided therapy continued
  • Special topics: Hip prostheses, pacemakers and pregnant patients
  • Special topics: Custom patient shielding

Rotation 8 Year 2, Apr-Jun

  • Final comprehensive oral exam
  • Completion of unfinished topics
  • Clinical service

Didactic Training:

Residents are required to fulfill a schedule of didactic courses to complete the Residency Program. Residents that hold degrees from CAMPEP accredited graduate programs may waive certain courses if equivalent courses were completed in their graduate program. Residents will also participate in educational conferences and meetings within the Department of Radiation Oncology as well as specialty oncology conferences. Conferences within the department include new patient and mortality and morbidity conference, chart rounds, physics meetings, journal club. Specialty oncology conferences include head & neck, pediatric, gynecological, neuro-oncology, breast, and GI oncology.

Clinical Rotations

  • RONC 701 Introduction to Radiation Oncology
  • RONC 702 Clinical Radiation Oncology Physics I
  • RONC 703 Clinical Radiation Oncology Physics II
  • RONC 704 Clinical Radiation Oncology Physics III
  • RONC 705 Clinical Radiation Oncology Physics IV

Lecture-based courses

  • RSTE 424T Clinical Oncology I
  • RSTE 408T Clinical Radiation Oncology Physics I
  • RSTE 425T Clinical Oncology II
  • RSTE 430T Patient Caregiving

Web-based courses

  • RSTE 414T Sectional Anatomy and Pathology I
  • RSTE 415T Sectional Anatomy and Pathology II
  • RSTE 438N Advanced Radiation Biology

Optional Independent study

  • RONC 706 Research Project

Course details:

RONC701, RONC702, RONC703, RONC704, RONC705: Introduction to Radiation Oncology and Clinical Radiation Oncology Physics I, II, III and IV

These courses will be conducted in the Radiation Oncology Clinic and is cross-listed as the eight required clinical rotations. Instruction is practical and applied, delivered one-on-one by clinical physicists, dosimetrists and physicians. This 4-course series is designed to educate the student in the methods of quality patient care in the practice of Radiation Oncology. Participation in the clinical operations educates the student in the normal processes that occur in the day-to-day clinic schedule and the applied methods of therapeutic radiologic physics.

RSTE408T: Clinical Radiation Oncology Physics I

This lecture-based course is the study of the fundamental physics principles and applications utilized in clinical radiation oncology. Wherever possible, clinical correlations will be made. Topics include fundamental nuclear physics, charged particle interaction, measurement of absorbed dose, dosimetric calculations, external beam therapy, brachytherapy, and radiation safety. New and future therapeutic techniques will be introduced.

RONC706: Research Project

This independent study course is designed to have the student complete a clinically oriented research project under the direction of the Chief Physicist. Research projects will be designed to be pertinent to clinical operations and will focus on the development of applications to be used in the future or improvement of current procedures.

RSTE 414T, RSTE 415T: Sectional Anatomy and Pathology I and II

These web-based courses are designed as an independent study and will include introductory concepts of cell biology & pathology, as well as concepts regarding neoplasia, fluid and hemodynamic disorders.

Additional instruction on sectional anatomy and pathology of the chest, abdomen, hematopoietic

& lymphoid systems, GI tract, liver & biliary systems, and pancreas are also included. Sectional Anatomy & Pathology II is a continuation of Sectional Anatomy & Pathology I and will include instruction on sectional anatomy and pathology of the pelvis, urinary tract, male & female productive systems, spine, bones & joints and CNS.

RSTE 424T, RSTE 425T: Clinical Oncology I and II

These lecture-based courses present the general principles, aims, and detailed techniques of proper application of ionizing radiation to the human body. Epidemiology, etiology, pathology, diagnosis and treatment of malignancies are addressed. Recognition of the invasive and metastatic patterns for various tumors, staging and grading procedures and their roles in determining prognosis is stressed. Appropriate chemotherapy agents for each site, their interactions with radiotherapy and side effects are discussed. Standard and emerging applications of radiation therapy will be emphasized.

RSTE 438T Advanced Radiation Biology

This web-based course is designed as an independent study and will include review and continuation of basic radiobiology involved with radiographic and nuclear medicine imaging, and radiation therapy. It will address the radiobiological/biophysical events at the cellular and subcellular levels, factors influencing radiation response of cells and tissues, and relationships of time, dose, fractionation, volume and site as they apply to both normal and tumor biology. Note: This is an interdisciplinary course for radiation science modalities. Students are expected to learn biological considerations specific to several modalities within the radiation science professions.

RSTE 430T: Patient Caregiving in Radiation Oncology

This lecture-based course will build upon the student’s academic instruction and clinical experience with foundation concepts and competencies in assessment and evaluation of the patient for service delivery attained in the prerequisite radiography and nuclear medicine technology program curricula. The content will focus on examination of psychological and physical needs and factors affecting radiation oncology treatment outcome. Routing and emergency care procedures will be reviewed or presented.

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