Radiation Physics Didactic Course

The overall objective of the physics didactics course is to provide instruction in principles of medical physics for the safe, effective, and efficient delivery of radiation treatments. This includes instruction in the physics of radiosurgery, intraoperative radiation therapy, 3D conformal treatment planning and delivery, IMRT,  radioimmunotherapy, unsealed sources, total body irradiation as used in stem-cell transplantation, total skin irradiation, high- and low-dose rate brachytherapy, hyperthermia, kilovoltage irradiation, plaque therapy, particle therapy, radiation safety procedures, calibration of radiation therapy machines, the use of state-of-the-art treatment planning systems, the construction of treatment aids, and the safe handling of sealed and unsealed radionuclides. The course will also prepare residents for the ABR written board examination in Medical Physics.  

Cancer and Radiation Biology Didactic Course

The overall objectives of the Radiation and Cancer biology course include instruction in the basic sciences essential to radiation and cancer biology, in classical and molecular effects of ionizing radiation, radiation effects on normal and neoplastic tissues, cancer biology associated with different radiation techniques (including 3D external beam radiation, IMRT, radiosurgery, brachytherapy, total body radiation, hyperthermia, high and low dose brachytherapy), as well as the fundamental biology of the causes, prevention, and treatment of cancer. Residents will be able to apply this knowledge in the selection of safe and effective treatments for patients. Residents will be prepared for the board certification examination in Radiation Oncology.

Clinical Didactic Course

The Clinical Didactic Course consists of Faculty Didactic lectures, Problem Based Case Conferences, an Oncoanatomy curriculum featuring guest lecturers from other oncology specialties, Resident Didactic Lectures (supervised by faculty), and Guest Radiation Oncology (visiting professor) lectures. The goals of the clinical didactic course are 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.

Our residents work one-on-one with an attending physician in our three different sites, with rotations of three months each.  During this time, they are educated in standard radiation techniques as well as the applicability of radiosurgery, intraoperative radiation therapy, three-dimensional conformal treatment planning and delivery, radioimmunotherapy, unsealed sources, total body irradiation as used in stem-cell transplantation, total skin irradiation, high- and low-dose rate brachytherapy, hyperthermia, kilovoltage irradiation, plaque therapy, and particle therapy.  Residents are instructed in the principles of normal tissue tolerance to radiation and tumor dose- response. The use of combined modality therapy and altered fractionation schemes are also discussed in the clinical curriculum. In addition, education in pain management and palliative care is provided. The residents are also instructed in the potential value and limitations of other oncologic disciplines (medical and surgical oncology). 

Multidisciplinary Conferences & Tumor Boards

Residents will attend multidisciplinary conferences, and present cases as needed. They will attain the skills and experience to:

  • Recognize the common presentations and physical findings in patients with particular types of malignancies.
  • Know the various means of obtaining tissue for diagnosis, which methods are best for particular types of tumors, and recognize the difference between benign and malignant tissues on pathologic review.
  • Be able to interpret plain films, CT scans, MRI and nuclear medicine studies for diagnosis and staging of patients.
  • Be familiar with the different modalities used in treatment of various malignancies (surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy), and which types of treatment are most effective for a particular type or stage of malignancy.
  • Gain communication skills by presenting cases and providing the risks and benefits of radiation therapy as it relates to particular case.

Documented tumor board attendance can be used to fulfill the requirements for pathology, radiology and pathology.  

Statistics

Residents will have instruction in statistics through the “Fundamentals of Clinical Investigation Course” offered through the Clinical Scientist Training Program at Baylor College of Medicine. In addition, an introductory course in statistics is included in the clinical curriculum. 

Scholarly Learning

Residents will have instruction in scholarly learning through the "Fundamentals of Clinical Investigation Course" offered through the Clinical Scientist Training Program at Baylor College of Medicine (IV.B.1).

Residents are required to complete an investigative project under faculty supervision during their residency. This may take the form of biological laboratory research, clinical research, translational research, medical physics research. The results of such projects shall be suitable for publication in peer-reviewed scholarly journals or presentation at scientific meetings. Each resident will have a travel budget available to attend scientific meetings.  A total of six months of protected time is available for research, provided that the resident has a research mentor, proposal accepted by the program director, and IRB approval prior to starting the research time.

Clinical Radiation Oncology

The radiation oncology residency program is a four year program with at least 36 months in clinical radiation oncology.  The overall goal of the Clinical Radiation Oncology rotations is to teach the most advanced techniques in clinical treatment and the principles of cancer therapy in each of the subspecialties within Radiation Oncology. By the completion of the residency, the residents will be able to achieve the following objectives: 

  • Perform histories and physicals, and diagnostic evaluations and staging appropriate to specific malignancies.
  • Prescribe and implement radiation therapy specific to a particular tumor site and histology.
  • Be competent in the clinical application of 3D conformal treatment planning and delivery, IMRT, IGRT, radiosurgery, radioimmunotherapy, unsealed sources, total body irradiation as used in stem-cell transplantation, high- and low-dose rate brachytherapy.
  • Develop communication skills required to establish working relationships with medical and surgical oncologists, and other health-care professionals.