Radiation Oncology

Medical Physics Residency

Program Description

This two-year CAMPEP accredited residency program in radiation oncology medical physics is sponsored by the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center San Antonio and the Cancer Therapy and Research Center. Our training program is modeled after the AAPM and CAMPEP clinical training guidelines and is designed for candidates that hold a masters or doctoral degree in medical physics from a CAMPEP accredited program.

Educational Objectives

The objective of our medical physics residency training program is to educate and train medical physicists to a level of competency sufficient for them to become qualified for independent, professional practice in radiation oncology medical physics. To accomplish this goal, the appropriate facilities, staff, mentoring, patient mix and educational environment are provided to the resident during their tewnty four month residency experience.


The program emphasizes a close personal working relationship between the clinical staff and the resident. Our training program is balanced mix of didactic learning and clinical skillset development, and includes programs in communication, ethics and professionalism and safety. There are formal evaluations of the residents by the faculty and vice versa, which give us valuable feedback on how to improve the program on an ongoing basis.


Residents are expected to participate in research activities during their training. Special effort is made to identify and mentor those who have the interest and talent to pursue careers in academic radiation physics.

Graduation Requirements

The UTHSCSA Medical Physics Residency is a two-year program. To complete the Residency Program, the resident must:


1. Successfully complete eight clinical rotations. The rotation schedule has been structured to include all clinical topics in radiation oncology physics. For each rotation, the resident is assigned a mentor from the physics staff and performs clinical tasks under the mentor’s direct supervision. A rotation is considered complete when all rotation competencies have been signed off by the mentor and resident and includes an evaluation at the end of each rotation. Rotations cover topics such as:

  • Radiation safety
  • Linac QA
  • CT simulation and QA
  • HDR planning, delivery and QA
  • LDR planning, delivery and QA
  • SRS planning, delivery and QA
  • Stereotactic Body radiotherapy planning, delivery and QA
  • Total body irradiation planning, delivery and QA
  • Total skin electron therapy planning, delivery and QA
  • Image guided radiotherapy
  • Conventional Treatment planning
  • Radiation protection
  • Ethics and professionalism

2. Successfully complete the didactic courses on Treatment Planning Techniques and the AAPM task group reviews.


3. The Medical Physics resident must complete a learning module on ethics and professionalism as specified in AAPM Report 159. We use the ABR/ACR/RSNA/AAPM/ASTRO/ARR/ARS, Online Module on Ethics and Professionalism. In addition to the online course, we offer lectures on professionalism as well as leadership, billing and medical economics, and career development.


4. Secure a passing grade on twenty one (21) monthly written exams on the assigned topics that are covered during each rotation.


5. Complete a comprehensive oral examination every 6 months.


6. Attend a minimum of fifty teaching conferences such as the new patient QA conference and didactic lectures that are given by the medical faculty.


7. Residents are required to teach a minimum of 2 lectures per year in one of our degree programs (medical physics program or medical dosimetry program).


8. Complete twenty-four months of clinical training at which time a certificate of training will be awarded to the resident.

Didactic Training

Clinical conferences, seminars, small discussion groups, journal clubs and one-on-one instruction are all an integral part of our training program. Residents are required to take the didactic courses on treatment planning and AAPM task group report reviews.

Clinical Competencies

Clinical competency is evaluated by written and oral examinations and by mentor directed exercises throughout the clinical rotations. Written quizzes are given to the residents to help them pace their studying and to prepare them for part II of the ABR written examination.

Research Experience

The residents are expected to engage in a clinical research project with the goal of submitting the results of their work to a scientific meeting.

Program Statistics

Each year we receive a large number of applications, primarily through the CAP system (http://www.aapm.org/cap/) which is now the sole application pathway to our program. The admissions committee evaluates and ranks the applicants and invites the top candidates for an onsite interview. The program recruits one resident per year and has a total of two residents enrolled in the program.

 

 

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

Number of resident applicants/yr

12

31

95

74

54

100

Residents accepted per year/yr

1

1

1

1

1

1

Number of residents graduated/yr

NA

1

1

1

1

1

Residents certified/yr

NA

1

1

1

0+

0+

+ Resident elected not to take the oral exam for personal reasons
100% of the residents that have graduated from our program are in clinical practices

Applications

To be eligible to apply, you must have an M.S. or Ph.D. (or equivalent degree) in medical physics from a CAMPEP accredited institution. To apply to our program, please select us through the CAP application system (http://www.aapm.org/cap/).