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 all facets of clinical practice. Explore the specifics of our program structure below.

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Program Structure

About the Department

Current and Former Residents

Admissions Process

Contact Us

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Orientation (0.5 mo)

Mentor: Abby Besemer
Abigail Besemer portrait

Linac Operation and QA (1.5 mo)

Mentors: Alison Arnold and Jordan Slagowski

portrait of Alison Arnold, DHO staff physicist

Headshot of Jordan Slagowski

Basic Treatment Planning (2 mo)

Mentors:  Dustin Jacqmin and Gemma Davies

Dustin Jacqmin, PhD

Portrait of Gemma Davies

Detectors and Measurement Systems (1.5 mo)

Mentor:  Jessica Miller

Jessica Miller headshot

Brachytherapy (3 mo)

Mentor: Charles Wallace

Charles Wallace, MS

Advanced Treatment Planning (2 mo)

Mentor:  Adam Bayliss

Adam Bayliss headshot

Imaging and Image Registration (1.5 mo)

Mentor: Michael Lawless

Michael Lawless, PhD

Radiosurgery (2 mo)

Mentor: Zac Labby

Zachariah Labby, PhD

Beam Modeling and Validation (1.5 mo)

Mentor:  Sean Frigo

Sean Frigo headshot

TBI/TSET (1 mo)

Mentors:  Tara Tyson and Patrick Hill

Portrait of Tara Tyson, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Human Oncology

Patrick Hill, PhD

Shielding (1 mo)

Mentor:  Zac Labby

Zachariah Labby, PhD

Commissioning (2 mo)

Mentors:  Dustin Jacqmin and Zac Labby

Dustin Jacqmin, PhD

Zachariah Labby, PhD

MRI in Radiation Oncology (1 mo)

Mentors: Carri Glide-Hurst and Tara Tyson

Portrait of Tara Tyson, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Human Oncology

Elective (1 mo)

Mentor: Abby Besemer

Abigail Besemer portrait

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 5 business days to attend conferences and up to 5 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:

  • Quasi-independent clinical coverage
  • Shadowing clinical physicists on a rotating basis
  • Unique patient consultations
  • Acquisition and processing of patient 4DCT and Respiratory-Gated Simulation Data
  • Weekly patient chart review
  • External Beam clinical patient planning
  • Brachytherapy clinical patient planning
  • 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
  • Various clinical projects, including device and procedure commissioning measurements

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 before advancing 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.