The University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) Radiation Oncology Residency Training Program is designed to educate and train physicians to be skillful in the practice of radiation oncology, to be caring and compassionate in the treatment of patients and to become board certified in the field of radiation oncology.
Physicians completing the program will be eligible for certification by the American Board of Radiology (ABR) with an ultimate goal of a 100% pass rate on the first attempt of the Oral Board Examination.
Duration and Scope
Following a year spent in a general internship, four years (48 months) are spent in the Radiation Oncology Residency Program. These 48 months are divided into 42 months devoted to clinical radiation oncology and 6 months spent in required rotations. Required rotations include: one month in clinical or basic laboratory research, two months in medical oncology (adult and pediatric), and one month in each of the areas of surgical pathology, diagnostic radiology, and physics.
The radiation oncology residency program provides a broad spectrum of clinical experiences and progressive radiotherapy including: Brachytherapy, Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS), Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT), Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT), MammoSite, Tomotherapy, and Radioimmunotherapy or Unsealed Radioactive Source Therapy. The department consists of 13 faculty radiation oncologists, nine medical physicists, and two radiation biologists.
The core curriculum combines a didactic curriculum and a clinical curriculum which support the learning objectives of the training program, board certification requirements of the American Board of Radiology (ABR) and the program requirements of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
The following six ACGME competencies are integrated into the curriculum:
- Patient care
- Medical knowledge
- Practice-based learning and improvement
- Interpersonal and communication skills
- System-based practice
Lectures and Courses
As part of the residency program, a series of ~50 didactic lectures are held annually that are designed to provide residents in-depth knowledge of specific topics in radiation oncology. As radiation oncology requires a team effort across multiple disciplines, radiation incology residents also participate in weekly classes led by physics and radiation biology staff. Other additional lectures and courses the resident will encounter during their training include: Bio-Statistics, Medical Legal Aspects of Radiation Oncology, Nutrition, Psychosocial Issues, Graduate Medical Education Consortium (GMEC) required lectures and courses, Medical-Legal Issues covering Risk Management and Health Care Stabilization Fund issues, Cobra Issues which cover Emergency Medical Treatment and the Active Labor Act, Medical Ethics, and Medicare Compliance.
In addition to the lectures and courses outlined above, residents also participate in a variety of presentations and conferences as part of the residency program. These include:
- Department Chart Rounds
- New Patient & Patient Planning Conference
- Journal Club
- Multi-disciplinary Tumor Conference
- Morbidity & Mortality Conference
- Department Meetings
- Faculty/Resident Research Meetings
- Site-specific Tumor Conferences (Brain, Lymphoma / Myeloma, Breast, Thoracic, Gastrointestinal, Head & Neck [Ear, Nose & Throat], Gynecologic, Thyroid, Neuro-Oncology)
In order to achieve Board Certification as a radiation oncologist, physicians must pass one oral and three written (biology, physics, and clinical) exams following completion of the residency program. One of the goals specific to the KUMC Department of Radiation Oncology is for all residents to pass these exams on their first attempt. To achieve this goal, the department incorporates a variety of education, training, and experiences into the program that are directly related to the knowledge, skills, and abilities specific to the board exams. Some examples of this include:
The technical competency / medical knowledge adequacy is assessed periodically by national in-service examinations:
- Annual In-Service Examination (clinical, physics, biology and statistics)
- Radiological Physics Practice Examination (RAPHEX)
- Radiobiology Practice Examination (RABEX)
Oral reviews and presentation skills are assessed during Chart Rounds, Journal Club, Morbidity & Mortality Conference, daily clinical activity and other clinical treatment planning rounds.
The Department of Radiation Oncology hosts an annual Mock Oral Board Exam for department residents and alumni, as well as individuals from other programs. Department faculty members lead different portions of the oral board exam designed to simulate the American Board of Radiology Oral Exam.
All PGY2 through PGY5 residents take the in-training examination annually (during March of each academic year) with the test results utilized to assist the resident in determining areas that need focus.