Clinical Training

Clinical Rotations form the core of the teaching program.  Residents rotate through Karmanos Cancer Center's Gershenson Radiation Oncology Center (GROC), the Charach Cancer Treatment Center at Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital (HVSH), the Radiation Oncology department at the DMC Sinai Grace Hospital and the McLaren Proton Center in the Radiation Oncology department of McLaren Flint Hospital. Through these rotations, residents see a spectrum of cases and perform numerous procedures.  Clinical service rotations link residents with a physician faculty member who specializes in a particular clinical service, enabling significant one-on-one interaction.  Clinical problems are presented by the residents following review of the case history, physical examination and imaging and laboratory studies.  The resident then discusses potential treatment scenarios with the attending.  Residents participate fully in radiotherapeutic management, including the simulation process and dosimetry plan review.  The process enables residents to develop and refine clinical judgment skills.

Basic principles of radiation oncology and critical review of the current literature is enhanced through weekly clinical radiation oncology conferences and multidisciplinary tumor board meetings.  The conferences review aspects of each case, shifting to a question and answer format after initial discussion.  Articles selected from current literature are presented by the residents and the important concepts are then discussed amongst residents, attending radiation oncologists, researchers and staff physicists.  Interaction with other disciplines is enhanced through active participation in various multidisciplinary tumor board meetings.

Didactic lectures in radiobiology are given as a course by Dr. Michael Joiner and physics lectures are given as a course by Dr. Jay Burmeister providing residents with information they need to perform during residency and prepare residents for the respective board examinations.  A monthly biostatistics class is also provided in addition to resident didactic presentations, Journal Club, faculty lectures and invited guest speakers. Chart rounds, new patient conference and morbidity and mortality conference are held at each practice site and residents attend during their rotations. Knowledge is tested via administration of the regular oral board reviews and annual Mock Oral Examinations by core faculty, and the American College of Radiology's In-Training Examination.

Research activities are stressed during all aspects of our training program.  A special rotation with adjusted clinical responsibilities is provided to each resident during their 4-year training program in order to provide the opportunity for expanded research time.

An educational allowance per year for each resident is currently included in the stipend rates provided by the Detroit Medical Center to support education-related expenses.  Residents are encouraged to attend national conferences and the department often provides additional funding to assist with travel expenses in the event a resident abstract is selected for poster or oral presentation at a major conference.