The UCLA Department of Radiation Oncology boasts a long and storied history in the specialty of therapeutic radiology. Originally founded in 1951 as a division of the Department of Radiology, the Department achieved independent status in 1978 under the direction of Dr. Robert Parker, who was best known for his research in high linear energy transfer radiation. In 1994, the Department transitioned to the leadership of Dr. H. Rodney Withers, whose research on the classical principles of fractionation and the “4 R’s of Radiobiology” is considered one of the breakthroughs of the twentieth century. The current chair, Dr. Michael Steinberg, a nationally recognized expert in health policy and disparities, was recruited to head the Department in 2008. Under his leadership, the Department's faculty has grown into its present complement of 12 physicians, 13 physicists, and 7 biologists, and has developed a well-earned reputation for clinical excellence and academic innovation.
The UCLA Department of Radiation Oncology offers a four-year residency training program in clinical radiation oncology. The residency fulfills all requirements of the American Board of Radiology, was awarded full accreditation in 2009 by the American Medical Association's Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), and is not scheduled for another review until 2023. As an integral component of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensve Cancer Center, the Department currently serves a diverse, high-volume population of various socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds and captures patients from a large portion of Southern California, Western Nevada, and the Southwest United States. The Department also serves an increasingly international patient population from Mexico, South America, and the Pacific Rim. The Department takes pride in providing top-notch cancer care in a collegial and team-based setting. Particular attention is focused on the patient experience, and excellence is expected in all aspects of clinical care. Prior to starting the radiation oncology residency, candidates must have successfully completed PGY-1 training in internal medicine, general surgery or a comparable field in an ACGME accredited program.
The UCLA Radiation Oncology Department is committed to being at the forefront of finding better treatments and cures for cancer through its superior clinical care and clinical trials coupled with cutting edge research in cancer biology, medical physics, and health services. We understand that patients and society require that health care becomes better in terms of treatment delivery and outcomes, faster for convenience to patients and their families, and cheaper to address the problem of the increasingly unaffordable healthcare delivery system. We recognize that both cost and quality measure the value of the healthcare which patients and society seek.
The mission of the educational program is to train leaders in radiation oncology. The program is centered on satisfying each of the core competencies as outlined by the ACGME: patient care; medical knowledge; practice-based learning and improvement; interpersonal and communication skills; professionalism; and systems-based practice. Through rigorous hands-on teaching, formal didactic instruction, and mentored research, the program aims to provide trainees with the necessary foundation and confidence for a career of lifelong learning and evidence-based patient care. Resident training is in accord with the overall Departmental mission to practice the patient-centered care treatment paradigm; to innovate and lead in the development of multidisciplinary models; to sustain growth in academic programs and strengthen community partnerships; to innovate, develop, and translate new treatments and cures for cancer; and to foster leadership development in the field of radiation oncology.