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Physics Residency Program Structure

Education Program – Basic Curriculum

The objective of the Physics Residency program is to educate and train physicists to a competency level sufficient to practice radiation oncology physics independently.  To accomplish this goal, adequate structure, facilities, staff, patient resources and educational environment must be provided. The primary focus of the resident’s experience shall be clinical training and educational activities.

Training Content

Training in clinical and technical subjects pertinent to the various areas of radiation oncology physics will include the following rotations:

  • Orientation and Safety training
  • Dosimetric systems and detector equipment
  • Treatment simulation
  • External beam megavoltage irradiation
  • Beam commissioning and annual linear accelerator QA
  • Special procedures
    • IMRT
    • SRS/SBRT
    • TBI
    • TSE
  • Brachytherapy
  • Radiation Safety and Protection
  • Research/Education/Professional Development
  • Advanced treatment planning

Expected Areas of competence for a clinical medical physicist in radiation oncology:

  • Calibration of therapy equipment for photons, electrons, protons
  • Measurement and calculation of dose for photons, electrons, protons
  • Computer based treatment planning for photons, electrons, protons
  • Quality assurance, including acceptance testing and commissioning of hardware and software used in planning and treating patients
  • Brachytherapy procedures
  • Training of medical residents, graduate students, dosimetrists
  • Education of health professionals and the general public in radiation oncology physics and radiation effects

The resident training will be comprised of

  1. Observation, participation, supervised practice of a clinical procedure
    • The resident will perform clinical competency tests for procedures associated in each   area of clinical competence listed above.
    • The resident will be expected to be clinically competent in 50% of the procedures before matriculating as a PGY2 resident
    • Clinical competence will be measured by successful completion of the clinical competency exam
  2. Observation and participation in clinical conferences 
    • Peer review conference
    • Medical resident conference
    • Physics Journal club
    • Oral exam practice
  3. Research 
    • The resident will be expected to participate in a research project either of his own design or under the supervision of a research project designed by a faculty member.  The participation in any research project must be approved by approved by the Director, Clinical Coordinator and Vice Chair of the department.
    • The resident will be expected to submit an abstract for presentation at a professional conference.
    • The resident a manuscript related to research performed during his/her residency training a manuscript for publication in a professional journal.

The resident/fellow will be evaluated based on clinical performance.  The components of clinical performance include:

  1. Professionalism
  2. Interpersonal communication skills
  3. Expected progress
  4. Successful execution of tasks
  5. Knowledge
  6. Areas requiring improvement

The resident will also evaluate the following components of the program: Learning opportunities

  1. Faculty availability
  2. Effectiveness of educational experience
  3. Adherence to program objectives
  4. Areas requiring improvement

The resident will be formally evaluated every six months by individual faculty members directly interacting with the residents.  Evaluation forms will be provided to all faculty members in the department and results will be summarized by the Director and Clinical Coordinator of the program.  The resident will meet with the Director or the Clinical Coordinator to review evaluations.  The resident will have the opportunity to present his/her evaluation of the program and areas requiring improvement will be addressed.  Modifications to the program may be made in order to enhance resident learning.

Training content, requirements, and curriculum will be consistent with AAPM report #90, Essentials and Guidelines for Hospital-Based Medical Physics Residency Training Programs.

Department of Radiation Oncology | 535 Barnhill Drive, RT 041 | Indianapolis, IN 46202-5289 | Phone: 317-944-2524 | FAX: 317-944-2486