University of Wisconsin–Madison

Program Structure

blue calendar iconOur two-year residency program features numerous well-defined rotations to ensure a complete, high-quality training curriculum for our physics residents. Additionally, we integrate our residents into many facets of clinical practice. Explore the specifics of our program structure below.

Clinical Rotations

Former DHO professor, Edward Bender, inserting a cone collimator into the old radiosurgery floor stand.

Each year in the program, the residents receive 12 vacation days and 12 sick days (approximately 1 month combined). This time is taken into consideration in the above schedule.

Additionally, residents will receive up to five business days to attend conferences and up to five business days to attend interviews in their second year in the program. These days are in addition to vacation days and are already taken into consideration in the above schedule of rotations.

Integrated Clinical Activities

Physics residents have the opportunity to contribute to clinical services in a variety of areas after residents have demonstrated competency. Examples include:

  • Monthly Quality Assurance of Linear Accelerators
  • Independent measurement of IMRT Delivery QA plans
  • Preparing and managing the display of patient data for departmental Chart Rounds
  • Brachytherapy HDR Remote Afterloader Daily QA
  • Brachytherapy clinical patient planning
  • External Beam clinical patient planning
  • Acquisition and processing of patient 4DCT and Respiratory-Gated Simulation Data
  • Weekly patient chart review
  • Quasi-independent clinical coverage
  • Various clinical projects, including device and procedure commissioning measurements
  • Unique patient consultations
  • Shadowing clinical physicists on a rotating basis

Resident Assessment

After each rotation, residents will be given an oral exam with two components: “quick response” questions, where each question is limited in scope and the answer must be provided in a timed manner (usually five minutes) and “free-form” questions that are designed to probe the depth of the resident’s knowledge in a given area.

The “quick response” questions are designed to encourage the resident to smoothly and efficiently demonstrate an understanding of the examined topic without getting lost in excessive detail and to prepare the resident for similar question formats found on certification exams.

The “quick response” and “free-form” questions are scored separately, and the resident must pass both portions of the exam to move unencumbered to the next rotation.

Program Oversight

The Radiation Oncology Physics Residency Program is directed by the program director and associate director and is overseen by the Residency Program Oversight Committee. The oversight committee reviews the program at least annually and makes recommendations for improvements to the directors. Through this leadership, our program conscientiously and actively seeks opportunities to make our training program one of the best programs available in clinical radiation oncology physics.