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Advanced Radiation Oncology Fellowship Training Program

Program Director:
Stephanie E. Weiss, MD, FASTRO
215-728-7477
Stephanie.Weiss@fccc.edu

Associate Program Director:
Jessica Karen Wong, MD, MEng
215-728-2628
Jessica.Wong@fccc.edu

Program Administrator:
Angela Daniel
215-728-3016
Angela.Daniel@fccc.edu

Program Description

The Advanced Radiation Oncology Fellowship Program is designed for physicians who want additional clinical training and research experience before entering independent radiation oncology practice.

The one- to two-year program offers a unique opportunity to expand clinical experience and refine research focus for Radiation Oncologists interested both in academics and private practice. Fellows may choose to rotate through multiple disease sites for broad experience, or may select fewer sites to gain greater depth in an area of expertise. Training is tailored to the individual fellow's career goals and is designed to cultivate their 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.

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). There is an emphasis on applying radiation physics using specific technology (e.g. VMAT, HDR, SRS/SRT, Radio-Dynamic therapy; prostate, GI and thoracic SBRT) to clinical problems.

Clinical and Research Components

Fellows 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 under the direct supervision of an attending physician. Assignment to services will be based on availability, and may be modified based upon the goals or interests of the trainee.

Specialized technology training is covered during the curriculum. The fellowship is designed to provide training in advanced techniques and 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:

  • Prostate brachytherapy, including low and high dose rate techniques
  • High-dose rate brachytherapy for GYN malignancies
  • Stereotactic (body) radiosurgery for extracranial sites such as prostate, lung and liver
  • Linac-based, CyberKnife®, and Gamma Knife® intracranial radiosurgery
  • Calypso® 4D Localization System for prostate cancer
  • MRI simulation for external beam radiation therapy
  • MRI-guided focused ultrasound
  • Radio-Dynamic therapy

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

Participant’s Supervisory and Patient Care Responsibilities

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

Didactic Components

The trainee is 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:

  • Morning Conference: Presenting clinical cases and discussing relevant articles in the published literature
  • Chart Rounds: Presenting cases currently on treatment; quality-assurance review of the prescription and techniques of treatment
  • Journal Clubs: Presenting articles from current peer-reviewed journals
  • Seminar Series: Lectures in Radiation Oncology by attending physicians in site-specific areas of expertise
  • M&M conferences: discussions of case-related morbidity and mortality with root cause evaluation and literature review as appropriate

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 one year of clinical training in the United States is preferred.
  • Candidates must be eligible for and obtain a Pennsylvania 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.

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. Offers are extended based on the outcomes from the interviews.

How to Apply

If you are interested in applying, contact the Associate Program Director, J. Karen Wong (Jessica.Wong@fccc.edu) and Program Administrator, Angela Daniel (Angela.Daniel@tuhs.temple.edu) in May or June to initiate the application process.

The application process will include a personal statement, three letters of recommendation, and CV. 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 of other Radiation Oncology faculty and Chief Residents.

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