The majority of the resident’s time will be spent in the clinic taking care of patients. The resident will become well versed in all aspects of patient care from initial consultation and multidisciplinary decision making, through simulation and treatment planning, to weekly on treatment management, to short-term and long-term follow-up care. Therefore, experience in each of these areas is provided in the clinical rotations.
Clinical residency year by year
Postgraduate Year 1
The Department of Radiation Oncology residency program starts with the Postgraduate Year 2. Postgraduate Year 1, the internship year, must be completed in an ACGME accredited medicine, surgery, family practice, obstetrics/ gynecology, or transitional year internship.
Postgraduate Year 2 (first year)
The first year of the residency program is primarily devoted to learning clinical radiation oncology. Residents become familiar with patient evaluation, treatment planning, and other clinical aspects of radiation therapy. Residents assume more responsibility as their fund of knowledge increases. Clinical rotations are designed in 8-week blocks with 1:1 resident to faculty coverage, where the resident is responsible to a single attending faculty member concentrating on one or two disease sites. Residents are not expected to cross-cover each other during absences.
Postgraduate Year 3 and 4 (second and third year)
All residents are expected to complete 12 months of research, split into two 6-month blocks during their second and third years here. A program of laboratory or clinical research in cancer biology, physics or computer applications can be pursued depending on individual interests. This research time is conducted under the supervision of a medical school senior investigator after a review of the proposed project by the Residency Director, Chairman, and Program Research Coordinator. The department’s cancer biology division has 27,000 square feet of lab space located a few blocks from the medical center within the Forest Park building. In addition, the department has almost 10,000 square feet of space devoted to medical physics research. Alternatively, residents may pursue their research interests in any other department within the Medical School or pursue Master’s degrees at Washington University.
The department strongly encourages individuals to consider residency training in the American Board of Radiology Holman Research Pathway, which allows for 18 months of dedicated research times. The decision to pursue this research-oriented training will be made jointly by the resident and the department during the first year of residency training.
Postgraduate Year 5 (fourth year)
Residents continue with a final year of clinical service and assume greater responsibility for patient management and decision making.