The University of Florida Health Proton Therapy Institute (UFHPTI) is home to the largest pediatric proton therapy program in the United States, with over 200 children treated in 2018. The majority of children are treated on prospective treatment protocols for central nervous system tumors, sarcomas, and other solid tumors adjacent to critical radiosensitive organs.
The institute opened in 2006 and currently treats cancers of the head and neck, base of skull, lung, sarcoma, prostate, pancreas, pituitary, central nervous system, Hodgkin lymphoma, and pediatric malignancies. More than 100,000 proton therapy treatments have been delivered to over 8,000 patients. UFHPTI is a full radiation oncology center, offering patients brachytherapy, IMRT, IGRT, SRS, and SBRT using Varian Truebeam technology in addition to double scattered and pencil beam proton therapy. It compliments a full education program including University of Florida residents and radiation oncology fellows.
UFHPTI has offered a fellowship position in pediatric proton therapy since 2011. The fellowship is a 12-month program which can be renewed for an additional year with consensus of the program director and the fellow. The pediatric fellowship director is Daniel Indelicato, M.D. The goal of the program is to develop clinical expertise in the management of pediatric malignancies and technical expertise in the application of proton therapy. Fellows will be expected to complete a proton therapy related research project and will be formally appointed as Adjunct Clinical Post Doctoral Associates in the University of Florida College of Medicine, with commensurate salary and benefits.
The pre-requisite for the fellowship is successful completion of an ACGME accredited residency in Radiation Oncology by the start date of the fellowship. However, the starting date is negotiable. If a fellow wishes to be considered to start at a time other than July 1st, please contact the fellowship director.
The application must include a current Curriculum Vitae and a one page personal statement articulating the candidate’s interest in the fellowship. Three letters of recommendation from clinical and/or research mentors are also required, including one from the fellow’s residency director. Exceptional international applicants who have completed a radiation oncology residency in the United Kingdom, Norway, Australia, Singapore, and Canada will be considered provided they have a valid US medical license, or ECFMG certification for training outside the US (requires completion of USMLE 1 and USMLE 2 exams). ECFMG certification is also required for visa sponsorship, if applicable.
Please e-mail CV and personal statement to Ms. Rozina Behrooz: RBehrooz@floridaproton.org and have letters of recommendation sent to: Rozina Behrooz either by email or mail to: University of Florida Health Proton Therapy Institute 2015 N. Jefferson Street Jacksonville, FL 32206. Phone: 904-588-1800; fax: 904-588-1300. Program Website: floridaproton.org. Program E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Educational Program – Basic Curriculum
Clinical and research components
There are two different fellowships offered, one focusing on pediatric tumors and the other focusing on adult tumors. The pediatric fellow will rotate primarily with the pediatric radiation oncology-attending physicians, and see most, if not all, pediatric consults.
The fellow will be involved in the management of all pediatric patients evaluated, treated and followed in the Jacksonville Radiation Oncology Department, whether with protons or photons. The fellow will be integrally involved in the entire management process, including but not limited to consultation, on- treatment evaluations, daily interactions, treatment planning, post-treatment follow-up.
The pediatric fellow will attend all meetings and conferences regarding the management of pediatric cancer patients, including but not limited to the multidisciplinary pediatric tumor board on Mondays, the UFHPTI pediatric planning conference and formal didactic rounds on Tuesday, the multidisciplinary pediatric neurooncology conference on Tuesday, and psychosocial rounds on Friday. The pediatric program at UFHPTI is the largest pediatric proton therapy program in the world. Since the facility opened, the pediatric proton faculty at UFHPTI have experience treating over 1800 children with proton therapy from around the globe. Approximately 2/3 of the children treated have tumors of the central nervous system and a quarter have sarcomas. This proportion reflects the national average for pediatric oncology patients requiring radiation, and this will ensure a proper case distribution for training purposes. Therefore, wherever the fellow practices in the future, his or her experience at UFHPTI will be applicable.
The primary pediatric mentor will be Dr. Indelicato, who has won teaching awards for postgraduate education in radiation oncology. Dr. Julie Bradley, Dr. Ronny Rotondo, and Dr. Ray Mailhot will aid him. These four individuals will act both in a supervisory and supportive capacity. The role of team supervision ensures that if one mentor is absent at a meeting or vacation, other mentors will be available to provide full support. It is exceptionally rare that all three pediatric radiation oncologists are simultaneously out of the office. In addition, over the course of the year, we fully expect that the fellow will learn valuable aspects of patient care from all professional members of the pediatric team at UFHPTI. That team includes 4 pediatric radiation oncology nurses, a pediatric anesthesiologists, a certified child life specialist, a pediatric social worker, a pediatric program assistant, art therapists, and a team of radiation technologists who have extensive pediatric experience. Formal progress reviews will be scheduled, where the mentors will provide feedback on patient management, treatment planning, and research goals. This will also be a valuable opportunity for the mentors to gather feedback from the fellow on ways in which his/her training program may be enhanced.
Fellows attend the Monday afternoon UF Residency Teaching Session by teleconference with Gainesville, in which educational sessions are presented by different attendings and residents. Both also attend UFHPTI Wednesday morning chart rounds in which all new cases are reviewed by the entire physician, along with physics and dosimetry.
All fellows are expected to do at least one clinical research project and to produce at least one clinical research paper. Appropriate time and research staff support is given for completion of the project.
Participant’s supervisory and patient care responsibilities
Intermittently, residents from Gainesville will be on the service. In this case, the fellow will help in the teaching and supervision of the resident, along with the attending physician. Similar to fellows in other medical disciplines in the teaching hospital, this opportunity to teach is an important component of the fellow’s development. The fellow will be responsible for ensuring that all planning and paperwork is done appropriately, though all final decisions will be made by attending physicians.
The fellows will be required to perform at least a 100 consults, simulations, and treatment planning procedures using proton therapy. Since very few implants are done at UFHPTI, there will be no minimum implant procedure requirement.
Participant will attend relevant tumor boards for his or her current rotation. In addition, support will be provided to attend at least one major meeting a year relevant to his or her training (ASTRO, Pediatric Radiation Oncology Society, etc.).
During the fellowship, the fellow will be expected to present talks or didactic educational sessions for the benefit of the other staff and residents.
The participant will be encouraged to submit at least one abstract for presentation at a national or international meeting. If accepted, support will be provided for attendance at the meeting.