Chair Column

On behalf of the department’s faculty, residents, and staff members, welcome to the home page of the Department of Radiation Medicine, and thanks for your interest. We are very proud of our department, because we have so much of which to be proud, both academically and clinically.
Clinically, we enjoy an amazingly talented faculty of radiation oncologists and medical physicists who are nationally recognized as excellent clinicians and thought leaders in their areas of interest. Their dedication to their patients and their desire to find ways to improve treatment are uniformly evident. Care is rendered with a subspecialty focus, which further enhances the level of expertise and knowledge offered to each patient under our care. Each faculty member appreciates the opportunity to take care of some of the most complicated oncology patients anywhere, and they enjoy having the facilities, technology, resources, and the teamwork required to provide that care at a very high level. In terms of external beam radiation therapy, our patients benefit from Varian TruBeam, Tomotherapy and Gamma Knife technologies, making our department one of the most technically sophisticated departments anywhere, with full capabilities for intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), total body and total skin RT, and all other external beam delivery techniques. Our radiation implant program (brachytherapy) is one of the busiest in the country, performing implants for gynecologic, breast, prostate and other primary tumor sites. Our brachytherapy re-irradiation experience for recurrent gynecologic malignancies is unique in the country and attracts patients from all over the country. We also work with our nuclear medicine colleagues and other specialists to provide systemic radiation treatment with a spectrum of unsealed sources for metastatic prostate cancer, liver tumors, and other malignancies as appropriate.
Our clinical operations focus on the needs of our patients and their families, and we benefit from a culture of quality care and service. This culture requires tremendous teamwork that recognizes the contributions of every member of our staff. Consistently, we are rated very highly by our patients, who accurately perceive a superb level of care and caring. Based on institutional and national comparisons, our patient satisfaction ratings are very high, and this is a source of pride for our staff.
Our department is home to two fully accredited residencies. The radiation oncology residency attracts outstanding candidates who spend four years after internship learning the art and science of radiation oncology under the mentorship of the faculty. As a group, they typically perform in the top 25% of residents nationally on in-service examinations, and current board pass rates are very high. The program is currently approved for 6 residents over the 4 years. The National Cancer Institute chooses to send its residents to our program for their gynecologic radiation oncology training. Residents are very active in research, with most of them presenting at national meetings and publishing in peer-reviewed journals during their residency.
The residency in medical physics accepts 2 residents per year for a 2 year program, plus 1 resident every 2 years for a residency in a community affiliate program. All of these residents are taken from our departmentally-based Masters Program in Medical Physics. This fully accredited 2 year program is one of the longest running medical physics training programs in the country. The medical physics faculty are very engaged in didactic and clinical training of the students and residents and take great pride in the strength of the programs.
Our research programs encompass multiple areas of investigation including clinical and translational science. Clinical research includes participation in cooperative group and industry-sponsored studies in addition to innovative investigator-initiated trials. Active NCI-funded laboratories are also engaged in translational science investigations. Many investigations involve our faculty scientists working collaboratively with investigators in the Markey Cancer Center, providing access to outstanding shared services and other support that enhances research opportunities.
Thanks for visiting our web page and learning about our department.