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Medical Physics Residency Training Overview


The University of Maryland Radiation Oncology Medical Physics Residency Program is a two-year training program.

Physics Residents Edge Machine

Program Director Dr. Mariana Guerrero with Physics Residents at the Varian Edge™, a state-of-the-art linear accelerator with a real-time motion monitoring system

Mission Statement

Our goal is to cultivate an educational environment which provides the full spectrum of learning opportunities in clinical medical physics, radiation oncology and radiobiology. Our flexible curriculum is designed to enable residents to optimize their learning experience throughout their two years of training. It is our expectation that upon completion of the program residents will be outstanding Radiation Oncology Physicists, capable of making immediate impacts in either academic or community practice settings.


Prerequisites

You must possess:

  • PhD in Medical Physics or
  • PhD or equivalent degree in physics, or relevant fields with following six subjects taken (either taken or plan to take during the training period) college level or above:
    • Radiological Physics and dosimetry
    • Radiation Protection and Radiation safety
    • Fundamentals of Imaging in Medicine
    • Radiobiology
    • Anatomy and Physiology
    • Radiation Therapy Physics

Residency Curriculum

Sixteen clinical rotations during the 24-month resident training period are assigned as required core clinical rotations. Clinically oriented practical projects are also assigned as part of clinical training.


Teaching Format

Teaching is carried out through didactic lectures, clinics and numerous teaching conferences, with emphasis on patient care, under the supervision of full-time staff. The department enjoys state-of-the-art equipment and operates several sites both on and off- campus, which include a main facility in the Gudelsky Tower of the University of Maryland Medical Center, the Maryland Proton Treatment Center (MPTC), Central Maryland Radiation Oncology in Columbia, MD, the Upper Chesapeake Health Patricia D. and M. Scot Kaufman Cancer Center in Bel Air, MD and the Tate Cancer Center at Baltimore Washington Medical Center in Glen Burnie, MD.

There are many intradepartmental and interdepartmental conferences to attend. It is essential to the success of our teaching program that our residents attend all departmental conferences and all interdepartmental conferences appropriate for each rotation. They are designed to teach all levels of trainee, and accomplish important patient care functions on a daily basis. Residents are expected to present physics related procedures and assigned projects to the department. Handouts (paper or electronic) are mandatory for prepared presentations. A few highlights from our teaching format include the following:

  • Attending lectures
  • Clinical talks (topic-based)
  • Case Presentations (focused on background/workup OR on management of disease)
  • Dedicated mock orals
  • Guest attending lectures
  • Journal Club (clinical and biological)
  • Physics/radiobiology Talks
  • Technology rounds
  • Hyperthermia Therapy Practice School
  • Visiting professors

Research Opportunities

Research opportunities under the direction of selected faculty are available throughout the two-year program. The topics will be focused on clinical questions and address the need of our clinical practice. Each resident completes several clinical projects during residency training and is assigned at least one specific project to submit to AAPM. It is expected that residents present their work at professional society national and local meetings.


State-of-the-Art Clinical Training

The Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Maryland is strongly committed to maintaining the quality of our educational program. Our department is at the forefront of innovation with its nationally recognized Medical Physics Division and Division of Translational Radiation Sciences (DTRS), which provide outstanding clinical and research experiences for trainees. As trainees, you will have the opportunity to train in the following facilities which include, but are not limited to:

  • External Beam Radiation Therapy
  • Low-dose rate (LDR) Brachytherapy
    • Radioactive iodine (I-125) seed implantation for prostate cancer
    • Radioembolization or Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT) for liver tumors with SIR-Spheres Y-90
    • Xofigo therapy treatment (radioactive radium Ra-223 dichloride) for prostate cancer metastatic to bones.
  • High-dose rate (HDR) Brachytherapy
    • State-of-are equipment: two Elekta Flexitron afterloaders and one Varian Bravos afterloader
    • Intracavitary treatment of Gynecologic cancer with vaginal cylinder, Tandem & Ring, and Tandem & Ovoid applicators
    • Interstitial treatment of Gynecologic cancer with Venezia applicator or needles with Syed templates
    • SAVI treatment for breast cancer
    • HDR brachytherapy for prostate cancer
    • HDR brachytherapy for skin cancer
  • Hyperthermia Therapy
    • Deep Hyperthermia Therapy with BSD-2000 Deep Regional Hyperthermia System
    • External Hyperthermia Therapy with BSD-500 Microwave Hyperthemia System
    • Interstitial Hyperthermia Therapy with BSD-500 Microwave Hyperthemia System
  • Respiratory Monitoring and Motion Management 
    • Breath-hold treatment with Vision RT system for breast cancer patients
    • Breath-hold treatment with SDX breath monitoring system for thoracic and abdominal cancer treatment
    • Abdominal compression with a belt in reducing the respiratory tumor motion for thoracic and abdominal cancer treatment
  • Proton Therapy
    • Varian ProBeam Pencil Beam Scanning System with 4 rotational gantry rooms and 1 fixed gantry room
    • Image-guided proton therapy with on-board imaging (OBI) system, CBCT, and Vision RT
    • 6D robotic couch
  • Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
  • Imaging System for Treatment Planning
    • Six CT scanners with 4DCT capability
    • A Dual energy CT scanner
    • A MRI scanner
  • Advanced Treatment Planning System (TPS)
    • RayStation TPS from RaySearch Laboratories
    • Eclipse TPS from Varian
    • Oncentra Brachytherapy TPS from Elekta
    • VariSeed TPS for prostate seed implant from Varian
  • GammaPod Treatment Unit: A dedicated device for early-stage breast cancer
  • Gamma Knife Radiosurgery: Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion from Elekta, a dedicated intra-cranial SRS treatment Unit
  • GRID Radiation Therapy
    • Single-fraction high dose (10-20 Gy) delivered to bulky malignant tumor
    • GRID therapy with photon beam
    • GRID therapy with proton beam
    • Lattice radiation therapy (3D GRID)
  • Total Body Irradiation (TBI)
    • TBI treatment with translational couch
  • Tumor Treating Fields (TTF)