University of Wisconsin–Madison

Program Structure

The UW Radiation Oncology Residency Program provides residents with the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge of clinical radiation oncology, including the indications for irradiation and special therapeutic considerations unique to each site and stage of disease.

Specifically, residents learn

  • standard radiation techniques and the use of treatment aids and treatment planning to optimize the distribution of the radiation dose
  • the principles of normal tissue tolerance to radiation and tumor dose-response
  • the use of combined modality therapy and altered fractionation schemes
  • the physics, biology and clinical applicability of the following treatment techniques:
    • radiosurgery
    • fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy
    • conformal therapy
    • three-dimensional treatment planning
    • intensity-modulated radiotherapy
    • radioimmunotherapy
    • total body irradiation as used in bone-marrow transplantation
    • total skin irradiation
    • high-dose-rate brachytherapy
    • hyperthermia
    • plaque therapy
    • additional techniques that may be developed
  • the use of the following external beam modalities:
    • superficial irradiation
    • mega-voltage irradiation, such as low-and high-energy X-rays
    • electron beam
    • simulation to localize anatomy
    • computerized treatment planning

Throughout the program, residents gain experience with gastrointestinal, gynecologic, genitourinary, reticuloendothelial, breast, soft tissue and bone, skin, head and neck, lung, pediatric and central nervous system tumors.

The faculty ensure that each resident performs technical procedures, including treatment setups and intracavitary and interstitial placement of radiation sources. Residents must keep a detailed log for each procedure. Each resident is required to perform at least five interstitial implants in at least five patients and 10 intracavitary implants in at least 10 patients. They must also assist in an additional five interstitial implants in at least five patients and 10 intracavitary implants in at least 10 patients.