Before entering the program, residents complete an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-acceptable first year of training at a program of their choice.
The first year resident objective is to learn how to deliver radiation therapy. In addition to the disease oriented rotation schedule, the first year resident gains experience by observing other residents perform during various didactic and case-based conferences, and then by preparing for and participating in conferences.
Residents are prepared for on-call responsibilities early in the first month of their first year. Prior to beginning independent call, each junior resident participates in "training" call where they work with the senior resident(s) to learn what evening and weekend call entails and to gain some experience in the on-call environment. This “training” is also applicable to inpatient consults which are a responsibility of the on-call resident.
In the clinics, with the guidance of attending staff, new residents learn to evaluate patients for and during radiotherapy. Emphasis will be placed on learning to gather the appropriate information (to include the basics of dictation), performance of a physical exam, review of diagnostic test results, and presentation of the case to the faculty radiation oncologist. Residents will begin to learn the principles of treatment planning and the technical aspects of simulation. Weekly “on-treatment” visits with patients will introduce the resident to the acute effects of treatment and their management. Participation in follow-up clinics will expose the resident to the late effects of treatment and management of complications and recurrences.
During the first year, residents will meet with the Program Director or an assigned faculty mentor to discuss potential research projects. By the end of the first year a hypothesis-driven research project, with specific goals, should be underway.
Specific aims of Year 1:
- To demonstrate understanding of the basic process of radiation oncology practice including consultation, informed consent, planning, treatment delivery and follow-up;
- To demonstrate the ability to obtain complete and accurate patient history and physical;
- To develop proficiency in proper and timely documentation of radiation oncology processes including History & Physical, Treatment Summary, weekly and follow-up notes;
- To demonstrate provision of informed consent to patients, including a discussion of alternative treatments and adverse effects;
- To accurately articulate the treatment plan of all patients presented at new patient/chart rounds;
- To demonstrate a basic understanding of the physical science and biologic principles underlying the field of radiation oncology;
- To gain a basic understanding of dose calculations and understand the impact of fractionation, time and dose factors;
- To initiate treatment planning (always with faculty supervision) to define target and critical normal tissue that limits dose;
- To demonstrate an understanding of the natural history, workup, treatment options, radio-therapeutic management and outcome of selected principal cancer sites, especially those where the resident has already rotated through;
- To demonstrate a basic understanding of anatomy staging and epidemiology.