PHILADELPHIA (June 25, 2020) – The Radiation Oncology Residency Program at Fox Chase Cancer Center has received accreditation from The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
“It’s recognition of Fox Chase as a top-shelf program … It’s validation that we have a long-recognized, venerable, and academically impressive program. It doesn’t matter how good we are if the ACGME doesn’t think the same,” said program director, Stephanie Weiss, MD, FASTRO, chief of the Division of Neurologic Oncology at Fox Chase.
ACGME is an independent, not-for-profit, physician-led organization that sets and monitors the professional educational standards essential in preparing physicians to deliver safe, high-quality medical care to all Americans.
The letter of accreditation from the ACGME review committee stated that the program “demonstrated outstanding compliance with the ACGME’s Program Requirements and/or Institutional Requirements.” ACGME would not require a site visit for the next 10 years, the longest duration allowed by the ACGME. A self-study of the program will not be due until 2028.
According to Weiss, much of the credit for the honor is owed to assistant coordinator Lillian Daly. “There was not a single question from the site visitor that Lily was not thoroughly prepared to answer,” she said.
Weiss also cited Eric M. Horwitz, MD, FABS, FASTRO, the chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology, for setting the tone for the culture of the department and the residency program.
“The residency program is a core part of our department, and I appreciate all the hard work that goes into a successful program like ours. Weiss and her team have done a tremendous job and this is reflected in the accreditation,” said Horwitz. “The culture, the ‘Fox Chaseness,’ is what allows us to fulfill our mission to clinically train, to conduct research, and to teach by providing a setting our trainees love and thrive in. It’s easy for a toxic environment to undermine that.”
That tone carries over to the selection of residents, she added. Weiss said neither she nor Horwitz unilaterally choose the new crop of residents. The process is democratic, with a vote from each member of faculty, and one of equal contribution from the current resident’s group, who dine with and spend time with the applicants the evening before. A nationalized computer algorithm matches the list of applicants with programs.