Medical Physics Residency Training Program

The medical physics residency training program in the Department of Therapeutic Radiology at Yale-New Haven Medical Center and Yale University School of Medicine was established in 2011. It is intended for candidates with an advanced degree in medical physics, physics, or a closely related field who are interested in pursuing careers as clinical Medical Physicists in Radiation Oncology.The program takes advantage of the  strengths and resources of Yale University School of Medicine, the Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center, the state-of-the-art Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven, and the Smilow Cancer Network to provide comprehensive clinical training experience for selected residents. Program accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Educational Programs (CAMPEP) is currently under review.

Description of the Program

The program is designed in accordance with the CAMPEP Standars of Radiation Oncology Residency Education: http://www.campep.org/ResidencyStandards.pdf.  It provides a minimum of two years of structures clinical training that covers all areas of radiation oncology physics. Upon completion of the program, the residents should be eligible to take the American Board of Radiology (ABR) certification examination in Therapeutic Medical Physics.

The training program normally begins on July 1st  and ends in June two years later. It consists of three main required components: attendance of radiation oncology related conferences, seminars, and didactic courses; hands-on training and service in structures clinical rotations; and seminar presentations. A fourth component on research participation, designed to enhance the residents' clinical understanding and critical thinking skills, is available to all residents who are motivated and prepared to take it on without compromising the clinical training during normal residency period or with one additional year of residency to take full advantage our department's active basic and translational research programs in radiation physics, radiation and cancer biology, and clinical radiation oncology. The option of 3- year residency with a structures research component is available to qualified applicants.

Upon entering the program, the residents will participate in a four-week orientation designed to help the residents to get acquainted with the normal department operation, the requirements and expectations of the residency program, hospital policy and procedures on patient care and professional conduct, and safety practice on working with radiation producing equipments among other related topics. During this time the resident should develop an overall understanding of the medical physicist's role in the clinic.

Following the orientation, the residents will start regular attendance to the didactic courses offered in our department ( Radiation Oncology Physics and Radiation Biology in year one, Clinical Radiation Oncology in year two) as well as the weekly departmental chart rounds, grand rounds, medical physics lecture series, and other relevant clinical and research seminars.

In parallel to didactic activities, the residents will receive structures clinical training by going through 9 clinical rotations. Each rotation is led by one (or more) Rotation Adviser(s). The residents will be working with the Rotation Adviser(s) and/or board certified medical physicists assigned by the Rotation Adviser(s) to learn specific training topics and perform clinical tasks under their supervision. At the end of each rotation, the Rotation Adviser(s), in consultation with the supervising physicists, will provide a formal evaluation of the resident's performance in meeting the specific training objectives.

The duties associated with the clinical services during the first year of residency will be under close supervision. Duties performed for the clinical services during the second year of residency will be under reduced supervision but all clinical tasks must be approved by a board-certified supervising physicist or Rotation Adviser. A major goal for the resident during the second year is to develop independent clinical and thinking sills and confidence in making clinical decisions. Additional literature reading and topical report assignments may be given during this time to strengthen theoretical understanding of various clinical procedures.

During the residency, the residents will be exposed to a full range of clinical services offered at Yale-New Haven Medical Center: From conventional radiation therapy to special procedures such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), total body irradiation (TBI), and total skin electron therapy (TSET) using state of the art linear accelerators with onboard KV-, MV-, and cone beam computed tomography (CBCT)-imaging cranial stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) using the latest Gamma Knife Perfexion unit; image-guided SBRT using CyberKnife unit; and a full suite of low dose-rate (LDR) and high dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy.

The department and its affiliates currently houses 12 linear accelerators from two major vendors, 1 GammaKnife, 1 CyberKnife, 5 CT simulators, 3 HDR afterloaders, 5 types of major treatment planning systems (Eclipse, Monaco, iPlan, GammaPlan, and MultiPlan), as well as fully networked Aria and Mosaic information management systems. The Radiation Physics Division has a wide array radiation detection and measurement equipment for acceptance testing, commissioning, special radiation dosimetry and on-going quality assurance checks.

Program Statistics:


Residency Program Statistics

Year

No. of Applicants

No. Accepted

No. of Graduates

No. Certified

No. in Clinical Positions

# in Academic Positions

2012

26

2

NA

NA

NA

NA

2013

no opening

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

2014

62

1

1* (6/30)

in process

*The 2nd resident hired in 2012 is enrolled in a 3-year program and scheduled to graduate in 2015.

Applicants to the residency program should have either a CAMPEP-accredited Ph.D. or M.S. degree in Medical Physics or a doctoral degree in a related field (e.g. physics, engineering) with additional medical physics coursework. Information on the specific prerequisites for medical physics residency can found here: http://www.campep.org/ProspectiveApplicants.asp. We do not offer coursework to satisfy CAMPEP's didactic prerequisites. New openings are generally posted in the autumn with a December application deadline. Please watch AAPM career service, MedPhys list server and our departmental website for specific postings. Additional application information can be found in the website under Eligibility Tab.