Residency Curriculum

At the beginning of each clinical rotation residents are provided with the goals and objectives of the rotation. The Rotation Attending will review all expectations and tools to assess with the resident prior to beginning the clinical rotation.

To start training, the resident participates in the day-to-day clinical care of cancer patients, their work-up, assisting in consultation, treatment planning, patient treatment and follow-up.  The resident is exposed to the full spectrum of clinical oncology seen at OHSU Hospital including patients from the Portland VA Hospital and Doernbecher Children Hospital.  Full-time staff radiation oncologists are in continuous attendance to see that the resident’s responsibilities increase in keeping with the resident’s skill and experience.  Throughout this period, the resident is required to attend basic science lectures in biology and physics as well as clinical lectures and tumor boards. 

During the first year, emphasis will be placed on learning anatomy, pathology, staging and epidemiology as they relate to cancer care.  Residents must master physical exam and proper documentation in the official record’s history and physical.

First year begins in July, but first year residents are not expected to take call until September.

Duration of Rotation: 12 months

The second year remains clinical with patient experience at OHSU South Hospital.  The resident is expected to view clinical problems from the perspective gained from prior experience and is given increasing responsibilities related to patient care, decision making and treatment planning.

As a second year, the resident is expected to have a better understanding of radiation oncology treatment plan, when radiation is used alone or in combination with chemotherapy.  In simulation, the resident should be able to provide a basic radiation volume with understanding of normal tissue and tumor anatomy as well as patterns of cancer spread.

At the end of the second year, the resident will submit a proposal for research to be completed prior to completing the residency.  This research may be clinical (e.g. chart review) or basic science.  All research must be approved by the program director and overseen by OHSU staff.  It is expected that this research will culminate in presentation (poster or talk) at a major radiation oncology meeting (e.g., ASTRO, RSNA, and ASCO) and publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Duration of Rotation: 12 months

The third year of residency is filled with unique opportunities.  For those interested in academic medicine, residents are encouraged to participate and lead a research team (clinical, translational or basic) based on mentorship, experience and exposure. Up to 12 uninterrupted months is allowable. Examples of resident research projects can be found here.  A listing of resident grants and awards related to these projects can be found here.  

In addition to a broad range of research opportunities, residents may use the majority of the third year of residency working towards additional degrees, certificates or experiences (e.g. Master’s of Clinical Research through the OHSU Human Investigations Program, Certificate in Human Investigations, Healthcare MBA, etc.). The resident is encouraged to think creatively regarding supplemental experiences and training that will benefit their anticipated career long-term.

Duration of Rotation: 12 months

The fourth year resident is preparing for graduation and independent practice.  This resident should be able to manage patients independently with minimal radiation oncology staff input.  The resident should be familiar with established literature-supported radiation oncology techniques and, also able to utilize current literature and meeting information to grow and change treatment as new therapeutic developments evolve.

In simulation, the fourth year resident should be able to function independently both in field design and prescribing doses.

Clinically, time should also be spent to refine special procedure techniques such as brachytherapy and radiosurgery.

Duration of Rotation: 12 months

Residents are required to participate the following academic conferences:

Weekly conferences

  • Didactic lectures ( Mondays and Wednesdays)
  • Case Conferences (Tuesdays)
  • Chart Rounds (Wednesdays)
  • Physics didactics (weekly, Thursdays)
  • Tumor Board (weekly, dependent on clinical rotation)
  • Multidisciplinary didactic sessions (weekly, dependent on availability)

Other conferences

  • Morbidity and Mortality (quarterly)
  • Radiation Oncology Journal Club (quarterly)
  • Radiation Biology (monthly)
  • Wellness lecture (annually)