The Nuts & Bolts of What We Do
Our two-year program strives for clinical and professional excellence. Our program is well organized, in order to ensure the breadth of topics in radiation oncology is covered. The resident is fully integrated into the medical physics team, and we emphasize a teaching approach of supervised hands-on learning.
This rotation focuses on quality management of external beam treatment machines. The resident will learn the subtle yet critical skills for calibrating and characterizing a machine well. The resident will gain practical skills for avoiding pitfalls when performing TG-51 and using a 3D tank for beam scanning.
Brachytherapy (2.5 months)
During this rotation, the resident will participate in clinical development. Opportunities for working on clinical development initiatives under close supervision of faculty arise during the resident’s clinical training, such as participation of commissioning new technology, implementing new techniques, or quality improvements in the clinic. The resident will also engage in a deeper study of emerging topics of their choice in the medical physics field, which provides the opportunities to study cutting edge technologies and new topics.
At the end of each rotation, the resident will give a presentation to the physics staff on topics covering major areas of medical physics theory and principles. Presentation topics are closely related to each rotation’s clinical objectives and also represent subjects within the major areas of study for board certification oral exams. Additional time will then be spent during the presentation in which the resident will be asked questions related to the topics presented. The main goals of this requirement are to hone the resident’s presentation skills, as well as provide a forum for oral questioning in order to prepare the resident for board examinations.
Residents will give one educational presentation to the department during their time in the program. The residents choose the topic they will present, but it should be of interest not only to physicists, but to radiation oncologists, residents, and other department staff. It takes unique skills to give an effective presentation to a broad range of staff within a hospital clinic. Clinical and academic physicists commonly give such presentations, whether as a lecturer in a clinical training program, when training staff during the implementation of new technology, or when presenting their research to key stakeholders. This presentation gives the resident the opportunity to gain teaching and presentation skills for a broader audience outside of the medical physics field.
At the end of each year, the resident will complete a rigorous, board-style oral exam. These exams are conducted to fully simulate the exam experience. The resident’s performance is evaluated by all medical physics faculty using the board oral exam criteria. These exams are especially valuable for preparing the resident for board certification.
The department provides a wide range of lectures to enhance the resident’s technical and clinical knowledge. Residents also attend department-wide meetings, in order to immerse the resident in the world of clinical physics as well as the workings of the clinic. Regular lecture and meetings include:
The resident will be integrated into clinical activities under close supervision after demonstrating competency. We strive for optimal balance of activities to ensure appropriate learning coupled with clinical experience. Examples include:
Our residents are provided with the same benefits as CU Faculty Fellows, including:
More details may be found at the University of Colorado’s Employee Services Site. For a greater breakdown of specific plans, please visit the employee services page and navigate to “Benefits & Wellness” -> “New Employee.”