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Advanced Radiation Oncology Training Program

Program Director: 

Stephanie E. Weiss, M.D., FASTRO

Phone# 215-728-3606

Associate Program Director: 

Krisha Howell, MD

Phone# 215-728-3057

Program Administrator: 

Lillian Daly

(Lillian.Daly@FCCC.eduPhone# 215-728-3016

Program Description: 

The Advanced Radiation Oncology Fellowship Program is designed for one physician per year who wants additional clinical training and research experience before entering full-time radiation oncology practice.

The one-year program offers a unique opportunity to expand clinical experience and refine research focus. Fellows may choose from multiple disease sites as topics for rotations, or may select fewer sites to gain greater depth. The training is tailored to the individual fellow's career goals and is designed to cultivate areas of interest. 

Duration:

The fellowship is a 1-year curriculum in Advanced Radiation Oncology with the opportunity for extension.  Qualified applicants accepted into the program are offered positions with a one-year initial contract. Trainees who perform at a level that meets or exceeds expectations are given the option to renew their contract for a second year.  Invitation to an optional 2nd year if offered is extended before the 10th month of the first year. 

Funding:

At this time, the fellowship is to be self-funded by the candidate.

Program Objectives:

The primary objective of the fellowship is to provide in-depth training typically in one or two clinical areas (GU/prostate, breast, head & neck, GYN/sarcoma, GI, thoracic, CNS) or special techniques (brachytherapy or stereotactic radiosurgery/stereotactic radiotherapy).  The physics emphasis is on applying specific technology (e.g. VMAT, HDR, SRS/SRT, Radio-Dynamic therapy; prostate, GI and thoracic SBRT) to clinical problems.

Clinical and Research Components:

The physicians enrolled in this program are expected to spend approximately 50-75% of their time in clinical Radiation Oncology, and 25-50% involved in research in the field of clinical radiation treatment, radiation physics, or radiobiology.

Trainees will be assigned to clinical services for 2 or 3 month intervals under the direct supervision of an attending physician.  The assignment to services will be based on availability, and may be modified based upon special stated goals or interests of the trainee

Specialized technology training will also be covered during the curriculum.  The fellowship is designed to provide this training in advanced radiation oncology techniques or technology not covered in many residency training programs within and outside of the United States.  Specialized training may occur during service rotations or be the subject of special research projects in the following:

  1. Prostate brachytherapy, including low and high dose rate techniques.
  2. High-dose rate brachytherapy for GYN malignancies.
  3. Stereotactic (body) radiosurgery for CNS and extracranial sites such as prostate, lung and liver.
  4. Calypso 4-D localization system for prostate cancer.
  5. MRI simulation for external beam radiation therapy.
  6. MRI-guided focused ultrasound.
  7. IMRT for prostate, breast, head and neck, GYN and GI malignancies.
  8. Radio-Dynamic therapy

Fellows will be given the opportunity to do clinical, physics, and/or radiobiology research projects.  Each of these projects will be sponsored by a faculty physician or scientist for mentorship. Statistics support is provided.  The details of at least one project must be worked out prior to or within one month of entry into the fellowship training program. 

2. Participant’s supervisory and patient care responsibilities

1) The trainee will be assigned to clinical rotations for a 2 – 3 month period.  The clinical responsibilities are similar to those for Radiation Oncology residents in our ACGME-accredited training program.  Trainees are expected to see new consults, re-consultations, patients under treatment, and follow-up patients.  Trainees will perform simulations and participate in treatment planning.  Responsibility will be delegated to them commensurate with their level of training and abilities. 

2) The trainee will share on-call responsibilities with the resident physicians.

Didactic components:

The trainee will be expected to participate in the same teaching conferences as residents and fellows in Radiation, Medical and Surgical Oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center.  Examples of these conferences include:

1) Morning Conference: Presenting clinical cases and discussing relevant articles in the published literature. 

2) Chart Rounds: Presenting of cases currently on treatment and quality-assurance review of the prescription and techniques of treatment.

3) Journal Clubs: Presenting articles from current peer-reviewed journals.

4) Seminar Series: Lectures in Radiation Oncology by attending physicians in site-specific areas of expertise.

Eligibility:

  • Candidates for fellowship are physicians who have completed standard residency training in Radiation Oncology in the United States or abroad.
  • International graduates are required to train under a J-1 visa sponsored  by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) and must possess a valid ECFMG certificate to be eligible for consideration.  At least 1 year of clinical training in the United States is preferred. 
  • Candidates must be eligible for and obtain a Pennsylvania State License. 
  • Candidates must have demonstrated satisfactory achievement of clinical competence during residency training.

Selection Criteria:

Selection criteria for candidates includes but is not limited to quality of medical school and residency training, grades from medical school and honors, passing grades and level of achievement on standardized testing during medical school and residency, evaluations of performance during residency, and academic achievements or awards during medical school or postgraduate training. After selection, appropriate candidates will be invited to interview.

Selection Process:

Consideration of fellowship candidates typically begins in June and July for a start date of July 1 the subsequent year.  Application deadline is August 1.  The Radiation Oncology Training Committee interviews candidates either at Fox Chase Cancer Center campus or at the annual ASTRO meeting and extends offers based on the outcomes from the interviews. 

How to Apply:

If you are interested in applying, contact the Associate Program Director, Krisha Howell, MD (Krisha.Howell@FCCC.edu) and Program Administrator, Lillian Daly (Lillian.Daly@fccc.edu)  in May or June to initiate the application process.

The application process will involve a personal statement, three letters of recommendation, CV, and Completion of Residency Verification.   Additional information may also be required upon request.  Applications open mid-May and close August 1.  The selection of applicants will be conducted by the Residency Program Director and Associate Residency Program Director, with the assistance and input other Radiation Oncology faculty and Chief Residents. 

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