Lectures and Conferences

In addition to seeing and treating patients, residents participate in a wide range of educational lectures and conferences.

Cancer Biology

This lecture series deals with basic principles of cellular and radiation biology, cancer chemotherapy and immunology.  The material is covered in two courses in the second half of the academic year.  The relevance of these concepts to the clinical practice of radiation therapy is emphasized.  PGY-2 and PGY-3 residents attend twice a week in the morning.

Radiation Physics

A lecture series is presented on the physics of radiation therapy and its application to clinical radiation therapy, dosimetry, treatment planning, brachytherapy, and radiation protection.  This lecture series is offered each year in the fall semester.  PGY-2 and PGY-4 residents attend twice a week in the morning.

Experimental Design and Statistics

A series of lectures are held in alternate years to familiarize the staff and residents with the basic principles of experimental design, data analysis, and statistical validity testing.

Some lectures are devoted to describing the foundations of computer design, data processing, and application of this technology to radiation oncology’s clinical operation, patient information systems, data processing and analysis.

Intramural conferences

Patient Management Conference (PMC)

This faculty-led conference occurs on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday over lunch provided by the department.  One resident presents a case from their clinical rotation to the faculty and fellow residents.  The discourse includes a review of work up, staging, prognostic factors and all treatment options based on the pertinent literature.  While decision making and rationale are emphasized, detailed technical aspects of the radiotherapeutic management may also be reviewed.

Radiation Oncology Academic Update

A formal didactic is delivered every Friday morning by a faculty member.  Occasionally, visiting professors will give a talk during this time.  This is a highly regarded series, often attended by community radiation oncologists from around the region.

Clinical Resident Education Course

On Thursday mornings, a lecture or tutorial is given by faculty members of surgical, radiation, or medical oncology.  These sessions range from pure didactic lectures on a specific disease to interactive discussion of practical and technical issues encountered in patient management scenarios.

Current Case Review

On Tuesday mornings, the department gathers for a critical review of newly started patients under treatment.  Residents briefly describe cases being treated on their clinical services.  The treatment plan, including isodose distribution and dose-volume histograms are reviewed.  CT-Simulation images, contours, dose distributions, localization imaging, and treatment rationale are all reviewed.

Journal Club

The monthly journal club meets informally over lunch to discuss 3 to 4 related current journal articles.

Morbidity and Mortality

A resident, guided by a faculty advisor, leads a discussion on the biological basis, predictive factors, and management of radiation induced late complications every quarter.

Physics Treatment Planning

A resident, advised by a faculty medical physicist, covers important physics topics monthly. Recent topics include proton therapy, intra-operative radiation, brachytherapy, and total body irradiation.