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About Physics Residency

The program resides within the Department of Radiation Oncology of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.  As with all graduate medical residencies at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, the residency program in Therapeutic Medical physics is operated under Graduate Medical Education (GME), a joint office between the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and the University of Cincinnati Medical Center (UCMC). The GME office advocates for residents and fellows in monitoring and providing support for activities within the medical education programs under the guidelines of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the UC College of Medicine/UCMC policies. The academic components and requirements of the Residency Program are developed and supervised by the College but leaves to each individual department the right to determine specific directions of study, precise manner of instruction, and individual methods for evaluating the results of examinations (all CAMPEP based requirements).

The clinical training program spans 24 months, from July 1st through June 30th, second year. By the end of the first year, the Physics Resident is expected to function as a Junior Physicist, with the ability to perform quality assurance tests, patient QA, monitor unit and dose calculations, conventional and IMRT treatment planning, radiation safety procedures, and brachytherapy physics procedures and planning. By the completion of the two-year term, the physics resident is expected to be able to perform all radiation oncology physics functions, including full calibrations of treatment machines, checks of dosimetry work (treatment plans, etc.), weekly electronic chart reviews including delivery and imaging for patients, radiation safety procedures, clinical consultations, and patient-related dosimetry. Every effort is made to include as many residents as possible into commissioning and acceptance testing of simulation, delivery, and localization systems. Clinical practica are evaluated through the Modules documentation that follows individual clinical rotations, in which specific work is completed and reviewed by mentors, as well as the response to questions in the Modules.

The Modules were created using TG249 Report topics, typical clinical activities, source documents, and local resources.  As part of module completion, residents are requested to provide input on improving the modules. Modules are reviewed regularly, and input is requested from clinical physics staff.

Resident progress is reviewed within the Physics Residency Steering Committee.  Residents are monitored through the program by the assigned faculty for each clinical rotation. Meetings every six weeks between the physics resident, Program Director, and assigned faculty for the current rotation are meant to discuss problems related to resident training. This meeting also gives an opportunity for the resident to provide feedback about the program. During this oral meeting (up to 3-4 hours) the resident presents important points of the rotation, where the general workflow (past and current practice) is presented along with possible pitfalls, mistakes, accidents, and their corresponding avoidance measures. The progress in their current rotation and the corresponding module are reviewed, discussed, and if needed remedial work is assigned. Near the end of each year of their training, the resident is given an oral examination. If the resident does not pass the exam, the resident is placed on probation. During that period, the resident is assigned to the area(s) of demonstrated weakness. At the end of the probation period, the oral exam is to be repeated. If the resident does not pass this second oral exam, the resident is terminated from the Residency Program.

Training program review is an ongoing task and the responsibility of the Program Director and the Physics Residency Committee. The training essentials and clinical physics modules and rotations are reviewed on a rolling schedule, where the resident is given the opportunity to do remedial didactic or clinical work. If changes are needed to meet the needs of the Program, then the Physics Residency Program Director targets the appropriate faculty for that task. Modifications require submission by the faculty to and subsequent approval by the Physics Residency Committee and/or Program Director.

Prior clinical rotation assignments, their corresponding modules, reports, lecture handouts, and examinations are available for assessment once the resident is close to completion of the rotation /module, provided that at least one iteration of the module and corrective action has taken place. Resident evaluations of clinical rotations are discussed in regularly scheduled meetings held with the resident.

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Department of Radiation Oncology

Barrett Cancer Center
3151 Bellevue Avenue
Cincinnati, Ohio 45219

Phone: 513-584-4775
Fax: 513-584-4007