Guide To The Program
Therapeutic Medical Physics Residency Program at the Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Florida
The Therapeutic Medical Physics Residency program in the Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Florida on the Gainesville Campus is designed to provide two (2) years of comprehensive training in all aspects of clinical therapeutic medical physics to qualified applicants. The Program aims to prepare the graduates for board certification and a professional career in radiation oncology. The program is designed in accordance with the guidelines contained in AAPM Report No. 90 on Medical Physics Residencies. The training consists of full participation by the physics resident in the clinical physics service under the supervision of the Physics Residency Program faculty, formal course work in radiation physics, guided studies through literature review and oral presentation, and didactic lectures in clinical radiation oncology. Comprehensive training and experience is provided in the broad areas of clinical dosimetry, treatment planning, brachytherapy, machine calibration, quality assurance, and radiation safety. The residency program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs, Inc. (CAMPEP).
The Physics section in the Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Florida provides clinical medical physics services to the Radiation Oncology at Shands Hospitals on both the Gainesville and the Jacksonville campuses. The department employs 7 medical physicists in Gainesville and 9 medical physicists in Jacksonville and more than 10 radiation oncologists, with an additional 8 radiation oncology residents in training at this time. Most medical physicists in Gainesville are affiliated faculty members in the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering (www.bme.ufl.edu) and they share teaching responsibilities in the CAMPEP-accredited medical physics graduate program and supervise graduate students from BME.
The Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Florida and UF Health on the Gainesville Campus utilizes a variety of radiotherapy equipment, including Varian and Elekta linear accelerators, all equipped with multi-leaf collimators and electronic portal imaging devices, an Orthovoltage unit, Philips Brilliance big bore multi-slice CT scanner and Pinnacle virtual simulation workstations. Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) is available on most linear accelerators. Treatment planning is performed on Philips Pinnacle 3D Therapy Planning System (TPS). High dose rate brachytherapy is performed using a Nucletron HDR Remote Afterloader unit and Oncentra TPS. An in-house developed optical tracking system is used for all patient setup and stereotactic radiotherapy. IMPAC Facility Management System is used for patient scheduling, record and verify, charge capture, and other administrative functions. A complete set of dosimetry equipment including IBA and Sun Nuclear 3D water scanning systems, diode and ion chamber arrays, various chambers and electrometers, and radiation detection meters are available as well. The University of Florida Health Proton Therapy Institute (UFHPTI) on the Jacksonville campus is home to the first proton therapy facility in the southeast region. An IBA cyclotron with three proton gantries is in operation since 2006. Dedicated CT, MRI, and PET/CT are housed within UFHPTI. In addition, two Elekta linacs with MLC, EPID, and CBCT are used for photon beam radiotherapy.
Special Procedures Performed
The clinics served by the physics section perform nearly all special procedures available in radiation oncology. These include 3-D Conformal and Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy; Stereotactic Radiosurgery/Radiotherapy; Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy; Total Body Irradiation; Total Skin Electron Therapy; High Dose Rate brachytherapy; Low Dose Rate Intracavitary, Interstitial temporary brachytherapy implants with or without CT-guidance; IntraBeam IORT, and Radiopharmaceutical Therapy.
Qualification of Applicants
Applicants to the program must hold a Ph.D. degree in medical physics or a closely related field with an undergraduate degree in physics or a related field with coursework equivalent to a minor in physics (including at least three upper level undergraduate courses). Preferences will be given to graduates of a medical physics graduate education program accredited by the CAMPEP. Candidates for our residency program should have completed the didactic material detailed in the AAPM report 79 prior to the clinical training. However, no prior clinical experience is necessary.
Resident Rotation Schedule
The resident will be assigned various responsibilities throughout the residency program in accordance with the progress of the resident in the practice of clinical medical physics. The resident will rotate through the areas of clinical dosimetry and treatment planning, machine calibration and quality assurance, brachytherapy and radiation safety, stereotactic radiosurgery and radiotherapy, and other special procedures. Resident will also spend one month at UFHPTI for valuable proton therapy experience. A quarterly rotation schedule is composed at the beginning of each academic year for each resident.
Physics residents are recognized by the College of Medicine as postdoctoral associates and they get the same benefit package (health insurance and paid sick leave) as any other clinical fellow. Each resident receives an annual stipend. The second-year annual salary increase will be based on their performance and the university’s salary increase guidelines. They are also reimbursed for hotel stay during their rotation to UFHPTI. The department supports one meeting attendance by our residents during their two-year residency, usually to the Annual meeting of the AAPM after their first year of residency. They are also supported to attend the annual SUN Nuclear QA & Dosimetry Symposium (in February) once during their residency. Each resident is given a yearly contract (renewable on anniversary date) that outlines the responsibilities and general expectations of the resident.
Evaluation of Resident
Residents are evaluated after each rotation by the supervising faculty physicist to determine whether the learning objectives are met through the rotation. Residents are given an annual oral examination in the format of ABMP Oral Board Exam, with contents appropriate for the training of the resident. Residents must pass the annual exam in order to continue or graduate from the residency program.
Other Responsibilities of the Resident
- The resident will participate in the course on radiation oncology physics and complete all the requirements for the course in the first year.
- The resident will participate in the weekly Wednesday Morning Chart Review Conferences.
- The resident will participate in the weekly Thursday Night Teaching Conferences on clinical radiation oncology.
- The resident is expected to give a minimum of five presentations, two in the first year and three in the second year, on topics relevant to their rotation or clinical project.
- The resident will submit a monthly written report on the tasks accomplished and activities observed/participated/performed during the month to the director of the Medical Physics Residency Program.
- The resident will observe and adhere to other rules and requirements of the department of Radiation Oncology at University of Florida and Shands Cancer Center.
Residents may be disciplined for inappropriate actions or failure to follow rules and requirements of University of Florida and Shands Cancer Center. The disciplinary actions may include warnings, probation, and up to dismissal from the program.