Residents are paired with attending physicians on a 1:1 basis for two-month blocks (note that certain elective or offsite rotations may only be one month, and thus may result in a one month rotation with an attending—however, this is an exception). During this time, residents are responsible for seeing all new patient consultations, follow-up visits, and on-treatment visits, and are also responsible for contouring cases and evaluating radiation plans.
In addition to clinical duties, there are a number of educational didactic sessions that constitute protected time for the residents, during which they are not responsible for clinical coverage. Typically, these take place from 8 to 9 am Monday through Thursday, and 7:30 am to 9 am on Friday. These include:
Radiation Oncology Clinical Didactic Lecture Series (ROCDLS)
The ROCDLS consists of lectures on Monday and Wednesday morning. The lecture series is primarily broken up into two-month blocks focusing on particular disease sites (e.g., breast, GU, head and neck). Smaller topics (e.g., benign ocular diseases and sarcoma) typically are grouped together as paired one-month blocks. Most blocks conclude with a mock oral boards session. In late spring, a nuclear medicine course module is given to the PGY-2 residents on Friday mornings by Dr. Carol Marcus to fulfill ACGME requirements.
All cases that are starting treatment in the department are reviewed every Tuesday and Thursday morning. Cases are presented by the resident on the respective service, and the Socratic method is often employed to make teaching points.
Friday Morning Didactics
Physics and radiobiology lectures are given on Friday mornings, on an alternating yearly schedule. For example, the lectures for the 2013-2014 academic year were radiobiology lectures; for the 2014-2015 academic year, the focus was on physics.
Sessions focus on discussion of recently published innovative articles pertaining to clinical radiation oncology, biology, and/or physics. An emphasis is placed on multi-disciplinary care. These are held on an alternating monthly basis on the first Tuesday of the month from 5 to 6pm. All residents and faculty are expected to attend.
Clinical Quality Oversight
Each month residents and faculty discuss patient care issues and safety at quality conferences. Patients who have experienced treatment breaks, ER visits, and/or severe toxicities are discussed with an educational perspective. Residents are also required to complete 1 clinical quality improvement (CQI) project during residency.
Multidisciplinary Tumor Boards
Residents attend multidisciplinary tumor boards relevant to their rotation. The exposure to medical oncology, pathology, surgical oncology, and radiology serves to meet ACGME requirements in these areas.