Medical Student Education
Medical Student Elective Rotations
The Department of Radiation Oncology offers an in-person, four-week in-clinic rotation experience for third- and fourth-year medical students from the University of Maryland and other medical schools. This elective is designed to provide medical students with exposure to the practical aspects of radiation oncology and the management of cancer patients. Student rotators receive broad exposure to a variety of new patients, patients under treatment, and follow-up cases, participating fully with the faculty and staff in their evaluation and treatment. Students will have the opportunity to observe and participate in a wide array of technologies including proton therapy, stereotactic body radiotherapy, GammaPod™ treatment for early-stage breast cancer, hyperthermia, various brachytherapy procedures, and Gamma Knife radiosurgery. Exposure to computerized treatment planning using CT and MRI scanners will be available. Students will also have the opportunity to work on a clinical project if prior arrangements with faculty have been made.
Many students have benefited from the research opportunities leading to co-authored national conference presentations and manuscripts. This is an excellent opportunity to improve physical exam skills, and to gain hands-on experience of what the field of radiation oncology has to offer. The rotation is typically spent at our downtown clinics in Baltimore at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) and the Maryland Proton Treatment Center (MPTC).
For more information about medical student rotations or to apply for an elective opportunity, visit the AAMC Visting Student Learning Opportunity (VSLO) program website. University of Maryland Students, please contact the Office of Student Affairs. For more information about setting up a virtual medical student rotation, please contact Education Program Manager Dionna Robinson at Dionna.Robinson@umm.edu or 410-328-1677.
Medical Student Education Program Leadership
Sarah Anne McAvoy, MD
Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology
Vice Chair for Education
Residency Program Director
Zaker H. Rana, MD
Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology
Director of Medical Student Elective Courses and
Medical Student Research Internships
Medical Student Research Opportunities
The Department of Radiation Oncology, which maintains a vigorous program of research across a broad spectrum of basic, translational, and clinical topics, values the participation of medical students in research activities. Each year, University of Maryland medical students collaborate directly with faculty members on cutting-edge investigations with resulting presentations, publications, and recognition.
Medical students who are interested in pursuing research projects in radiation oncology may reach out to Dionna Robinson at Dionna.Robinson@umm.edu or 410-328-1677. For additional research opportunities, please visit the Office of Student Research website.
Radiation Oncology Medical Student Summer Fellowship
The Radiation Oncology Medical Student Summer Fellowship is for first- or second-year medical students who will complete one research project in radiobiology, clinical radiation oncology, or physics during a ten-week summer program. The goal is for the project to lead to a publication or national presentation. The Radiation Oncology Summer Fellowship program application period opens on March 1 for University of Maryland medical students. Scholarships will be offered either jointly with the PRISM program or directly through the Department of Radiation Oncology, and funding ranges from $1,000 to $4,000. Candidates are encouraged to apply both for the both the PRISM program and Radiation Oncology Summer Fellowship Programs to maximize their chances for selection.
Pictured above left are the 2019 summer research fellows outside of their work site on campus.
The department supports abstract submission fees during the research Summer Fellowship, and travel and conference attendance for a limited number of fellows to present their work at approved national meetings. In photo to the right, University of Maryland medical student and 2019 summer fellowship award recipient Dahlia Kronfli received a travel award and gave her oral presentation at The Association for Academic Minority Physicians, Inc. (AAMP) Annual Meeting, “Identifying Psychosocial, Demographic, and Economic Disparities for Cancer Patients Undergoing Definitive Radiation Therapy in an Urban Underserved Population".
To apply, please complete and return the below application between March 1 and March 31. You must include two letters of recommendation and a personal statement with your application. If you have already identified your project and mentor, please include a one-page abstract for your research project.
Download the Application: Summer Fellowship Application
Previous Recipients of the Radiation Oncology Medical Student Summer Fellowship
Jessica Yau (part-time)
Jiun-Yiing Hu (honorary recipient)
Sample of Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles Published During/ as a Result of the Medical Student Summer Fellowship
Kronfli D, Savla B, Lievers A, Baker K, Eggleston C, Miller R, Bentzen SM, Mohindra P, Vyfhuis MAL. Identifying Psychosocial Needs of Patients With Cancer Undergoing Curative Radiation Therapy in an Inner-City Academic Center to Address Racial Disparities. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2022 Oct 1;114(2):185-194. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2022.04.003. Epub 2022 Apr 29. PMID: 35490990.
Hamza M, Rice S, Lamichhane N, Chen S, Mohindra P. Conformal Radiation Therapy in Patients With Cardiovascular Implantable Electronic Devices: Proposed Practical Implementation of the 2019 American Association of Physicists in Medicine Task Group No. 203 Risk-Stratified Interrogation Schedule. Pract Radiat Oncol. 2021 Jul-Aug;11(4):e402-e414. doi: 10.1016/j.prro.2021.03.004. Epub 2021 Apr 3. PMID: 33823321.
DeCesaris CM, Berger M, Choi JI, Carr SR, Burrows WM, Regine WF, Simone CB 2nd, Molitoris JK. Pathologic complete response (pCR) rates and outcomes after neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy with proton or photon radiation for adenocarcinomas of the esophagus and gastroesophageal junction. J Gastrointest Oncol. 2020 Aug;11(4):663-673. doi: 10.21037/jgo-20-205. PMID: 32953150; PMCID: PMC7475327.
Remick JS, Kowalski E, Samanta S, Choi S, Palmer JD, Mishra MV. Health-Related Quality of Life and Patient-Reported Outcomes in Radiation Oncology Clinical Trials. Curr Treat Options Oncol. 2020 Aug 29;21(11):87. doi: 10.1007/s11864-020-00782-4. PMID: 32862317.
Rice SR, Feigenberg SJ, Hamza M, Molitoris JK, Bentzen SM, Tkaczuk KHR, Rosenblatt PM, Bellavance EC, Nichols EM. Trends in utilization of hypofractionated whole breast irradiation (HF-WBI) in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC): a national cancer database (NCDB) analysis. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2019 Jun;175(2):473-478. doi: 10.1007/s10549-019-05150-x. Epub 2019 Feb 22. PMID: 30796656.
Schneider C, Vyfhuis M, Morse E, Diwanji T, Snider JW, Mossahebi S, Steacy K, Malyapa R. Dramatic Response of a Large Sacral Chordoma to Intensity Modulated Proton Beam Therapy. Cureus. 2017 Sep 10;9(9):e1670. doi: 10.7759/cureus.1670. PMID: 29152427; PMCID: PMC5679766.
Rutenberg MS, Meister M, Amin PP, Hussain A, Naslund MJ, Kwok Y. Salvage external beam radiotherapy for locally recurrent prostate cancer after definitive brachytherapy. Brachytherapy. 2016 Nov-Dec;15(6):722-729. doi: 10.1016/j.brachy.2016.08.004. Epub 2016 Sep 28. PMID: 27693225.
Chang ET, Parekh PR, Yang Q, Nguyen DM, Carrier F. Heterogenous ribonucleoprotein A18 (hnRNP A18) promotes tumor growth by increasing protein translation of selected transcripts in cancer cells. Oncotarget. 2016 Mar 1;7(9):10578-93. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.7020. PMID: 26824423; PMCID: PMC4891142.
Boggs DH, Hanna A, Burrows W, Horiba N, Suntharalingam M. Primary Gross Tumor Volume is an Important Prognostic Factor in Locally Advanced Esophageal Cancer Patients Treated with Trimodality Therapy. J Gastrointest Cancer. 2015 Jun;46(2):131-7. doi: 10.1007/s12029-015-9699-y. PMID: 25759174.
Medical Student Fellowship & Award Opportunities
The Department of Radiation Oncology, via an Endowment Fund for Academic Excellence in Radiation Oncology, has several award opportunities for medical students who attend the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Student applicants must demonstrate a strong interest in radiation oncology. Having a project identified prior to applying is encouraged but not a requirement.
Dr. Pranshu Mohindra Medical Student Research Award
The Dr. Pranshu Mohindra Medical Student Research Award is awarded to a University of Maryland third- or fourth-year medical student who has successfully completed a research project during their second year, third year and/or first semester of their fourth year. The recipient receives a scholarship towards their medical school tuition. The award is given each spring, and the goal is to complete a research project which leads to a publication or national presentation. To apply, please complete and return the below application by the deadline of March 31.
Pictured above left to right: Max An, 2018 Summer Fellowship Recipient; Pranshu Mohindra, MD, MBBS; Muhammad Hamza, Medical Resident 2022-2026 & 2018 Summer Fellowship Recipient; at the University of Maryland School of Medicine Summer Research Training Program, Student Research Forum 2018, hosted by the Office of Student Research
Along with the application, please email a recent copy of your CV and a professional photo to Dionna Robinson at email@example.com.
Download the Application: Medical Student Research Award Application
This award was named in recognition of Dr. Pranshu Mohindra's many contributions to the department's educational programs. Dr. Mohindra was a faculty member from 2014 to 2023, the Director of Research Internships from 2016 to 2013, and the Medical Student Elective Course Director from 2017 to 2023 in the Department of Radiation Oncology. His insightful ability to match students with productive research experiences and to engage the faculty in mentoring throughout a variety academic projects including presentations and publications was truly remarkable. Dr. Pranshu Mohindra current practices at University Hospitals in Cleveland.
Previous Recipients of the Dr. Pranshu Mohindra Medical Student Research Award
Radiation Oncology Medical Student Graduation Award
The Radiation Oncology Medical Student Graduation Award recognizes a fourth-year University of Maryland medical student who has shown excellence in their work in radiation oncology, and who has demonstrated sustained interest in the field of radiation oncology during their medical school training. To apply, please complete and return the below application by the deadline of March 31.
Download the Application: Medical Student Graduation Award Application
Previous Recipients of the Medical Student Graduation Award