The UCLA Radiation Oncology Department believes that the foundation for achieving our goals is to embrace the quality imperative in everything we do. This includes safety and quality in our clinical care and research activities as well as excellence in our educational endeavors and value in our community outreach initiatives. Residents are integral part of the department’s commitment to quality assurance and patient safety. In addition to weekly peer-review conferences, a monthly quality assurance meeting (Thursday at 1pm) attended by representatives of all divisions of the Department including nursing, therapy, and dosimetry, occurs on an ongoing basis for purposes of self-evaluation. As mandated by the University of California, residents are required to develop initiatives to promote safety in the workplace through designated radiation oncology clinical quality initiative (CQI) projects, formulated in accordance with the program director and the Graduate Medical Education (GME) staff.
The Department expects residents to participate in hypothesis-driven, thematic-based research during training, and all residents are guaranteed 10 months of research time during the PGY4 year. Residents have the discretion of tailoring their research in the form of biological laboratory research, clinical research, or medical physics research under the supervision of a designated mentor. Basic research opportunities will not be limited to radiation research, but will be open to any cancer-related laboratory programs associated within the UCLA School of Medicine and Comprehensive Cancer Center. Consideration could be given to the American Board of Radiology (ABR) Holman Pathway for exceptional candidates with a strong background in research. During the allocated research time, residents will specifically be free of all clinical responsibilities and will also not be expected to take call assignments.
The Department boasts a large and experienced data management and research support team. It has recently embarked on a massive campaign to revolutionize electronic medical records and has created arguably the most sophisticated data registry system to facilitate clinical research in the country. Efforts to promote self-reported outcome analysis have been developed by the faculty with the implementation of virtual data tabulation. Full-service statistical support and information technology are available in the Department to assist residents with all research projects. UCLA is recognized as a leader in the burgeoning field of health services research. Opportunities exist for trainees to participate in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, which aims to produce leaders and agents for change in diverse settings such as the community, federal and state governments, health care organizations, and academic departments. Residents with an interest in health services research are encouraged to develop careers to that can play an active role in shaping and evaluating policies and programs to improve systems, with particular focus on care for those outside of society’s mainstream.