Welcome to Radiation Oncology. This is a brief summary of what we hope you will get out of your elective rotation through Radiation Oncology. You may not want to become a radiation oncologist, but we do want you to become familiar with the role of radiation therapy in the overall management of patients with cancer. You will learn to perform a focused history and physical on a patient with cancer. Also, you will learn about some of the common cancers (lung, breast, prostate, head and neck and cervix). We recommend Radiation Oncology: Management Decisions by KS Clifford Chao, Carlos A. Perez and Luther W. Brady (The textbook will be provided by the department). Chapters 1-9 should be read within a few days of starting to know some basics. Then you should read the chapters about the cancers related to patients you will be seeing.
You will be given a schedule for the month, where you will be assigned to an attending physician for each day. You will also be given a schedule of conferences, which you will attend depending on your attending for the day. There is a weekly Thursday morning conference in which all new patients starting radiation therapy are discussed.
In the last week of your elective, you will make a formal presentation on a cancer-related topic based on a patient you have seen. The patient and topic should be identified in the first two weeks of the rotation. This should be discussed with the patient’s attending who will review your presentation.
We hope that you will enjoy this rotation and consider it an opportunity to see how radiation oncology fits into the treatment of cancer. There are many things that can be done to help cancer patients and to encourage all of us continue to learn. We hope you will be learning with us.