Skip to Main Content

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Training

    How are the rotations structured? Are there multiple campuses for the rotations?
    • Clinical Rotations are structured by topics. Currently, the clinical portion consists of 10 rotations: Orientation, Linac, IGRT, Treatment Planning, Patient-Specific QA, Special Procedures, Brachytherapy, Special Topics, Radiation Safety, and Full Participation. See the “Clinical Rotations” tab for details.
    • Rotations are carried out primarily at the main campus. Learning opportunities at satellite facilities (such as commissioning and/or implementation of new equipment or treatment techniques that are not available at the main campus) are arranged as they arise. In addition, residents will participate as a full medical physicist for one month at a satellite site.
    How is resident progress assessed?
    Resident progress is assessed in several methods:
    • In-rotation evaluation by rotation advisor(s) based on rotation-specific competency checklists, quality of rotation report(s), and performance in mini-oral exams
    • Monthly meetings with Program Director
    • 1st and 2nd year written exams
    • 1st and 2nd year ABR-style mock exams
    • In-residency topical presentations (two required)
    • Final oral exam
    Are there research expectations for residents in your program? If so, what kind of research is currently available?
    • Yes
    • Clinically-oriented projects ranging from, e.g., radiation dosimetry to treatment technique improvement/innovation, model-based treatment response assessment/optimization, and AI applications in radiation oncology.
    How are residents paired with research mentors? Are they paired with a single mentor or will they be expected to work on a new project each rotation?
    • Residents are paired with research mentors by mutual interests.
    • Residents can work with multiple faculty members during their residency.
    • Residents are not expected to work on a new research project each rotation, although ideas of clinical projects can - (and often do) originate in rotations.
    • Projects can be part of an ongoing faculty research program, initiated by faculty through clinical rotations, or initiated by residents.
    What consistent clinical responsibilities do your residents have (machine QA, chart checks, IMRT QA, physicist of the day, etc.)?
    • Patient-specific IMRT QA, distributed among the residents
    • Equipment QA, chart checks, etc. as part of the rotation training primarily for gaining proficiency
    Will there be commissioning opportunities for new equipment in the near future? Of what equipment?
    • Yes
    • Varian Truebeam installation at our Hamden site (Fall 2023)
    • Varian Truebeam installation at our Guilford site (late 2023 or early 2024)
    • Varian Truebeam installation at our main campus (planned for 2024)
    • RefleXion SCINTIX upgrade for BGRT in Fall 2023)
    • The CT Proton Center is planned to break ground in the coming year (2024)
    • Additional Linac replacements at our satellite facilities are planned for the coming years
    What distinguishes your residency program from other programs?
    • Training environment – unique combination of resources from Yale University School of Medicine, Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the state-of-the-art Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven Hospital
    • 3-year program with flexible and fully funded research rotation (equivalent to 1 year)
    • Medium-sized program (3 residents)
    • Well-established clinical training curriculum & dedicated faculty/staff
    What opportunities are there for residents to teach?
    • Peer mentoring between senior residents and junior residents
    • Informal mentoring of RTT students, dosimetrist students and medical residents
    How has your program and department adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic? What changes have been implemented as a result? How have these measures affected the resident training?
    • The program and department have adapted well to the COVID-19 pandemic following the excellent leadership of Yale University and Yale-New Haven Hospital.
    • In addition to maintain social distancing, wearing mask, handwashing, and daily temperature check (in the past), the department has supplemented on-site presence with appropriate work from home (WFH) scheduling.
    • Hands-on activities were impacted during the peak of the pandemic (late 2020 and early 2021); the impact was minimal thanks in part to the well-managed pandemic situation in Connecticut.
    • The impact on resident training has diminished since late 2022.
    How are the residents trained in treatment planning? Which treatment planning systems are available?
    • Formal training includes a 4-month hand-on treatment planning rotation
    • Additional training through rotation-specific tasks such as those related to brachytherapy, SRS, TBI, TSET, and patient-specific QA
    • Eclipse (for EBRT), GammaPlan (for GammaKnife SRS), BrachyVision (for brachytherapy), and Plaque Simulator (for eye plaque brachytherapy)
    Will residents be considered AMP-eligible at the completion of your residency training program?
    • Yes
  • Conferences

    Do the residents have opportunities to travel to conferences? Which ones? To present or just to attend?
    • Yes
    • AAPM or other related meetings
    • Meeting presentation is highly encouraged but not required
    Are there professional days to account for conference travel?
    • Yes
    Is conference travel funded by your program?
    • Yes
    Does your program have an educational fund for residents? If so, how much is it and what does it cover?
    • Yes, with no specified amount
    • It covers educational materials such as books for the residency program
  • Living

    How is the cost of living compared to the resident salary? What do benefits (e.g. health, dental, and vision insurance, retirement plans, etc.) include?
    • Cost of living is very reasonable compared to the resident salary – can easily find an apartment and pay all expenses (electric, gas, internet) with one bi-weekly paycheck
    • Apartments by the hospital are affordable, but surrounding towns have even cheaper rents if you don’t mind commuting
    • Benefits include health insurance (Anthem Blue Cross), dental (Delta Dental), and vision coverage (VSP)
    • Residents are also eligible for YNHH retirement plan (403b) and education funding
    Do most residents commute to work? How long is the commute?
    • Residents who live in the city of New Haven can take the Yale shuttle system (free) to commute between the apartment and hospital. The Yale shuttle routes cover most part of the city. The commute takes about 10 to 20 minutes.
    • Residents who live outside the city of New Haven need to commute by car. The commute takes about 20 to 30 minutes or longer depending on actual living location.
    • Currently, one resident lives within the city of New Haven and two live outside in the nearby towns
    Is parking available on campus? Or do most residents rely on public transportation?
    • Parking is available. Most garages are within a 10- to 15-minute walk of the hospital and there are hospital shuttles that regularly run between the garages and the hospital.
    • Parking is ~$40 per month but will vary depending on the garage you are in.
    • Two current residents utilize hospital parking, the other resident walks or uses the free Yale shuttle system.
    How much PTO do residents have?
    • 3 weeks per year
    Yale University's Living in New Haven Resources
  • International Applicants

    Do you have/have you had international residents that required a VISA?
    • No, not among current residents
    • In the past, before our program transitioned to a 3-yr program, one resident used OPT for the 2-yr program.
    What is the onboarding process for foreign residents at your institution? Work VISA (H1B)? OPT?
    • OPT or TN visa