Radiation Physics Residency

Cancer Answer Line: 866.223.8100

Cancer Answer Line:

866.223.8100

The CAMPEP-accredited Physics Residency Program in Radiation Oncology at Cleveland Clinic is a three-year training program. It was established in July 2009 under the direction of Dr. Ping Xia, who is Head of Medical Physics in the Department of Radiation Oncology. Dr. Allan Wilkinson is the Director of the Physics Residency Program.

  • Two years are dedicated to hands-on clinical physics training for physicists having a graduate degree. Didactic lectures and seminars are part of the program in order to provide additional teaching of clinical radiation oncology.
  • A third year, to provide research opportunities, is available. Residents are strongly encouraged to initiate and/or participate in clinical-related research projects to solve clinical issues. This is especially important for those interested in an academic career. The residents will contribute to all research steps, from the protocol and experiment design stage, through data processing and statistical analysis, results presentation, manuscript preparation and final publication.

The comprehensive program is equipped with the latest radiotherapy and radiosurgery technology related to: intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), Gamma Knife Radiosurgery, stereotactic body radiotherapy (lung, spine), permanent prostate seed brachytherapy, total body irradiation, high dose rate brachytherapy for gynecologic malignancies, radioimmunotherapy, and intraoperative radiation.

Residents, under the supervision of medical physicists and other health professions, will participate in the routine clinical duties of a radiation oncology physicist. At the conclusion of the program, residents will be able to demonstrate competency in all areas of radiation oncology physics and will be considered prepared/eligible to take the certification examination of the American Board of Radiology in Therapeutic Radiology Physics.

Cleveland Clinic's Department of Radiation Oncology is an established program within a NCI-designated Cancer Center. The Department currently has seven service sites: at main campus and at six of the regional hospitals. Clinical training is currently provided at the main campus and at one regional hospital (Hillcrest).

All physics residents will report to the Physics Residency Program Director and to the Head of Medical Physics in Radiation Oncology. The Physics Education Committee oversees the operation and the evaluation of the program. The physics residents are appointed by Cleveland Clinic Graduate Medical Education and receive an equivalent benefits package as the medical residents in clinical radiation oncology. In addition to regular teaching conferences, seminars, journal clubs and chart rounds, physics residents will have the opportunity to attend all of the courses offered by the department, including a year-round radiation physics course offered to medical residents. The physics residents can also take graduate courses offered by the Physics Department at Cleveland State University, where Cleveland Clinic is partnered for a Masters Degree program in Medical Physics.

Program Completion Requirements»

Cleveland Clinic residency training program follows the “Essentials and Guidelines for Hospital Based Medical Physics Residency Training Programs” as outlined in AAPM Report #90. Upon completion of the program, the residents are expected to demonstrate competency in practicing fundamental clinical radiation oncology physics procedures and to have a comprehensive understanding of all clinical topics in radiation oncology physics. The residents are expected to be prepared to pass the American Board of Radiology exams. For this, twenty-four months of clinical training and education is provided.

Clinical Rotations»

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The residents work closely with faculty physicists and clinical staff in the Radiation Oncology Department. Each resident participates in clinical procedures and QA measurements. The resident will follow a clinical rotation schedule, and each rotation consists of several clinical modules with defined goals and evaluation methods. Competency in every clinical module must be demonstrated, and each resident's performance will be evaluated by the teaching faculty at the completion of each year. Written reports, written exams, and oral exams are included in the evaluation.


Module Name / Code Description Mentor
Orientation & Introduction to Department Systems / INT Observation at each machine / simulator, IMPAC and systems training, professionalism, ethics (2 weeks). Wilkinson
Imaging / IMG IGRT, ConeBeam, Simulators, CT, Data Transfer, Dicom. Zhuang
Linac beam calibration / LBC TG-51 calibration. Djemil
TLD and in vivo dosimetry / IVD Calibration and use of TLD's and MOSFETs. Kolar / Magnelli
Photon beams: basic dose descriptors / BDD Output factors, PDD, TMR. Kolar
Basic Dose Calculations / BDC Manual (hand) calculations of various simple beam arrangements. Wilkinson
Dose Modeling for TPS / DMO Beam modeling in Pinnacle v8, standard plans. Xia
Treatment Planning, external beam 3D / TPE Use of Pinnacle TPS. Xia
Treatment Planning IMRT / TPI Use of Pinnacle TPS. Xia
Electron Beam Planning / EBP Use of Pinnacle TPS along with measured output factors. Godley
Radiation protection, shielding / RPS Shielding calculations for radiation therapy vault. Djemil
Brachytherapy / BRT HDR, LDR. Wilkinson
Linac Annual QA / LAQ Elekta, Siemens, and Varian linacs. Godley
Linac Monthly QA / LMQ Elekta, Siemens, and Varian linacs. Godley
Patient Chart Checks / PCC Patient specific MU and plan checks, final chart check. Ouzidane
Stereotactic Radiosurgery / SRS Gamma Knife, Linac – Novalis. Neyman
SBRT – Novalis / SBT. Lung, Liver Djemil
IMRT patient QA / IPQ Patient specific IMRT dose verification. Kolar
Measurement Instrument QA / MIQ Intercomparison of dosimetry systems. Kolar
TBI, TSE / TBS Techniques for total body irradiation (photons) and total skin electron therapy. Kolar / Godley
IORT / IOT Use of Intrabeam device, Mobetron. Kolar / Magnelli
Regional physics practice / RPP Experience in working in a smaller, community setting. Conventional simulation. Strongosky / Rybak
Rotation Year Modules
1-1 1 INT, TPE, RPS, LMQ, IPQ
1-2 1 BDD, BDC,IVD, LMQ, IPQ
1-3 1 TPI, MIQ, IMG, LMQ, IPQ
1-4 1 RPP
2-1 2 DMO, BRT, LBC, LMQ, IPQ
2-2 2 SRS, RPS, LMQ, IPQ, PCC
2-3 2 RPP
2-4 2 EBP, TBS, SBT, LMQ, IPQ

N.B. IOT and LAQ will be scheduled on an ongoing basis according to when these procedures are being done.

Didactic Education»

Besides formal coursework, all residents will be encouraged to attend departmental and regional AAPM conferences. This is designed to help the residents to develop knowledge of routine clinical operations in radiation oncology physics. These conferences include weekly chart rounds, cancer center grand rounds, visiting professors lectures, radiation safety in-services, monthly radiation oncology physics journal club, and weekly department meetings. At the discretion of the Physics Education Committee, residents will have the opportunity to attend refresher courses offered at the AAPM annual meeting, AAPM summer school, ASTRO annual meetings, etc.

Other Education»

Every first-year resident will be required to take the Radiation Oncology Physics Course offered in the department starting in September of each year. Any resident accepted into the program must satisfactorily have completed, or will complete, the appropriate courses required by the American Board of Radiology. If courses are required, the program duration increases correspondingly.

Graduation»

Upon completion of the program, a certificate will be awarded subject to the following requirements:

  1. Satisfactory completion of clinical rotations as documented in the rotation evaluation form, with all checklists signed by the supervising physicist and Physics Residency Program Director.
  2. Satisfactory completion of Cleveland Clinic’s mandated on-line medical education courses (COMET).
  3. Preparation and presentation of at least two talks each year on clinical medical physics procedures.
  4. Satisfactory attendance in all required clinical and medical physics courses, seminars and conferences including medical physics seminars, radiation safety in-services, chart rounds, and clinical morning conferences.
  5. Successfully passing end-of-year examinations as outlined by the Physics Education Committee.

Benefits»

Highlights:

  • Vacation: 15 days (3 weeks) per year plus a variable number of meeting days.
  • Office space: Each resident has a personal desk space with a computer which has access to patient information and the Internet.
  • Pagers: Cleveland Clinic has a text paging system.

We are seeking candidates with a PhD in Physics or related fields for one medical physics resident position. The physics resident will work with a team of physicists and dosimetrists to be trained in all aspects of clinical radiation therapy physics. This position is designed to include 2 years of clinical training plus 1 year of research.

It is the continuing policy of Cleveland Clinic that all terms and conditions of employment, including but not necessarily limited to, recruitment, appointment, promotion, compensation, benefits, transfers, training, education and social and recreational programs will be administered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin or ancestry, disability, or status as a disabled or Vietnam-era veteran.

Candidates must have a graduate degree in medical physics, physics, biophysics, radiological sciences, engineering, or a related field with a particularly strong background in physics. Preference will be given to candidates with a graduate degree in medical physics from a CAMPEP accredited program. Candidate applications will be reviewed by the Physics Education Committee. The selected applicants will be interviewed via telephone by the program director and/or designated committee members and then invited for an on-site interview. The physics faculty will rank the candidates interviewed who will be notified about the admission decision in a timely fashion.

Our current program maintains an average of three residents for a minimum of two years of clinical training plus one additional year for research, with a maximum of three residents per twelve-month period. Funding for each resident is guaranteed by the departmental operations budget.

Current Physics Residents

  • Ahmad Amoush, PhD - June 2011 - 2014 (2 Clinical Years Training - 1 Year of Research)
  • Wen Li, PhD - July 2011 - 2014 (1 Year of Research - 2 Clinical Years Training)
  • Han Liu, PhD - July 2012 - 2014 (2 Clinical Years Training)
  • Salim Balik, PhD - July 2013 - 2015 (2 Clinical Years Training)

Residency Programs Statistics

Year
(Start-Finish)
Applicants Accepted Graduated Certified Clinical
Appt.
Academic
Appt.
Industry
Appt.
2009 - * NA 1 0 1 1

0

0

2010 - 2012* NA 1 1 1

0

1

0

2010 - 2013 NA 1 1 1

0

1

0

2011 - 2014 52 2 0 1

0

0

0

2012 - 2015 101 2

0

0

0

0

0

* Program not CAMPEP accredited.

Additional Information

You may obtain additional information about the Radiation Physics Residency Program by contacting:

Marsha Griffith

Program Coordinator
Radiation Oncology (T28)
Cleveland Clinic Foundation
9500 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44195
Phone: 216.444.8783
Email: griffim2@ccf.org

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Speak with a cancer nurse specialist for appointment assistance and for answers to your questions about cancer locally at 216.444.7923 or toll-free 1.866.223.8100.

Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (ET).

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  • Referring Physician Concierge: 216.444.6196 or 216.312.4910.

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