Radiation Oncology

Students in their 1st and 2nd years of medical school can shadow our attending physicians by choosing a Selective Rotation in Radiation Oncology. Research opportunities are available for 1st and 2nd year medical students.

The Department of Radiation Oncology accepts 3rd and 4th year medical students for electives.

Students are strongly encouraged to participate in a clerkship in Radiation Oncology.  The Department of Radiation Oncology has world-renowned physicians willing to provide clinical training with direct supervision as well as student mentorship.  During their rotation students will have the option of spending a few days visiting the affiliated Hospital Department of Radiation Oncology.

Students are expected to learn and gain exposure to numerous aspects of Radiation Oncology including:

  • The basic principles of radiation oncology, radiobiology, medical physics and radiation safety.
  • The importance of a multidisciplinary approach to the management of patients with cancer.
  • Students will learn how to perform comprehensive physical exams while improving their clinical skills by compiling pertinent data for patient histories and notes.
  • Students gain exposure to advanced technological treatments.  Some of these treatments include intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), stereotactic radiosurgery, brachytherapy and high-dose remote afterloading brachytherapy.
  • In addition, students will learn how to treat the entire patient being mindful of psychological as well as physical needs. He/She will develop this skill through the collaboration of the entire patient care team, which includes radiation oncologists, medical physicists, radiology technologists, nurses, social workers and nutritionists.

Goals for medical students during their rotation include:

Prostate: See a new patient consult, see a follow-up patient, review an IMRT plan and contour a prostate.

Breast: See a new consult, see a follow-up patient, view a breast simulation, work on a breast treatment plan and attend Breast Tumor Board.

GYN: See a new GYN patient, see a vaginal cylinder simulation/treatment, HDR planning and physics, attend OR to place Tandem and Ovoid, attend GYN clinic.

Lung: See a new consult, see a follow-up patient, view a lung simulation, work on a lung 3D conformal or stereotactic treatment plan and attend Lung Tumor Board.

GI: See a new consult, see a follow-up patient, view a GI simulation, work on a GI treatment plan and attend GI Tumor Board.

Head and Neck: See a new consult, see a follow-up patient, view a head and neck simulation, work on a head and neck IMRT plan and attend head and neck Tumor Board.

CNS: See a new patient with CNS disease, see a whole brain simulation, work on a plan for WBRT and see a Gammaknife or Cyberknife case.

Palliative: See a new patient, understand the unique needs and goals for these patients, and work on a palliative treatment plan.

Miscellaneous: Attend didactic lectures in medical physics, clinical radiation oncology, grand rounds, chart rounds, teaching rounds and may rotate to affiliated teaching institutes.