Residency Training Program
Life in the Program
Welcome to the Yale New Haven Hospital radiation oncology residency program! We have a 48-month program that begins with post-graduate year 2 (PGY-2). Clinical rotations comprise 36 months and are primarily based in New Haven, with 2-4 months spent at our Waterford facility. The remaining 12 months are dedicated to electives, which can be spent on research and/or additional clinical rotations. The program provides residents with the foundational training necessary for a successful career in academic or community practice, as well as eligibility for the American Board of Radiology (ABR) certification examination. We pride ourselves in guiding you into becoming an excellent radiation oncologist. One of our greatest joys in having a training program is the long-term relationship we form with you, our future colleagues.
During clinical rotations at Smilow Cancer Hospital - New Haven, the resident performs new patient consultations, gathers experience in the technical aspects of radiation therapy, and follows patients through their treatment course and beyond under the close supervision of the attending physician. As the resident progresses through the program, he or she is given increasing responsibility for patient care and treatment planning. Each resident is assigned to work with 1-2 attendings during each 2-month rotation. This allows for abundant one-on-one teaching, as well as exposure to all clinical subspecialties of radiation oncology multiple times during the program.
Residents participate in all special procedures, including but not limited to: 3D-conformal radiotherapy, intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), computed tomography (CT) simulation, stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) / Gamma-Knife® radiosurgery, stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), electron beam and orthovoltage radiotherapy, interstitial and intracavitary brachytherapy, total body irradiation (TBI), and total skin electron beam radiotherapy (TSEBT). They work closely with the physics and dosimetry staff to customize optimal treatment plans for patients. In addition, trainees become familiar with various aspects of clinical and translational investigation by caring for patients enrolled in clinical trials, and in some cases, by helping to design clinical trials.
Smilow Cancer Hospital - Waterford (also known as Lawrence and Memorial Cancer Center, located approximately 40 minutes from Yale by car) provides experience in general radiation oncology in a community setting. The facility is directed and staffed by Yale radiation oncology faculty, and is fully equipped with state-of-the-art linear accelerators capable of IMRT and SBRT. This provides the resident with the unique opportunity to participate actively in a more broad-based practice environment while working alongside Yale attendings.
The 12 months of elective time (the maximum allowable by the ABR) can be spent in basic, transitional, clinical, or health services research as well as on related services such as diagnostic radiology and/or pathology, or clinical away rotations. Research endeavors are very strongly encouraged. Presentations by the trainee at national meetings and publications in peer-reviewed journals are highly supported. The program supports the ABR Holman Research Pathway, which may allow for up to 21 months of elective time. The program has also established the Clinical-Investigator Track, which allows participating residents to audit year-long biostatistics, epidemiology, and research methods courses as part of the National Clinical Scholars Program.
There are numerous teaching conferences available to residents throughout the four-year program. These include a weekly lecture series in radiation physics and radiobiology, as well as 3-4 clinical didactic and interactive sessions per week that incorporates key oncology literature. Through weekly chart rounds, departmental grand rounds, cancer center grand rounds, department-sponsored visiting professorships, and multidisciplinary tumor boards, the trainee is exposed to all clinical aspects of radiation oncology and general oncology. There are also regular research-in-progress meetings of the Yale Radiation Oncology Consortium (YROC), which foster close collaborations among residents and attendings in clinical research.
For trainees who are interested, the Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Yale School of Medicine, and Yale University offer additional educational opportunities. Residents also have full access to a wealth of information from the Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Library of the Yale School of Medicine, which is located across the street from the radiation oncology department. Recent residents have audited courses offered throughout the entire university, including public health, business administration, computer science, applied mathematics, music history, and foreign languages. Residents are provided with a generous annual stipend that can be used for educational materials, textbooks, and meetings.
Starting in the PGY-3 year, residents will be paired with a faculty mentor, who can meet monthly to assess how he or she can best be of service to the resident. We want you to achieve your goals, no matter where they may take you.
There are also regular research-in-progress meetings of the Yale Radiation Oncology Consortium (YROC), which foster close collaborations among residents and attendings in clinical research.
We invite you to read our quarterly newsletter ROK-Stars to learn about the most recent accomplishments of our residents.
Life in New Haven
New Haven is a great area with a variety of neighborhoods for whatever you are looking for: bustling city living or a quiet neighborhood with lots of green space. We foster a very collegial environment. When you join our team, you might find that you want to join other residents and faculty in a book club, ska band, string quartet, basketball or softball club, or ASTRO ROI5k racing team. Social gatherings include an annual welcome beachside barbeque, a periodic women’s dinner, New York and Boston excursions, and ASTRO parties. You’ll find we have what you are looking for at Yale!
We look forward to meeting you, and thank you for considering us.
Roy Decker, MD, PhD
, Program Director
Sue Evans, MD, MPH
, Associate Program Director
Henry Park, MD, MPH
, Associate Program Director
James Yu, MD, MHS , Associate Program Director