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Clinical Training

The clinical training will cover all areas of radiation oncology. The resident will participate in all aspects of care for patients receiving radiation therapy. Each year, residents gain added responsibility in a graduated fashion. While their work remains under staff supervision, in accordance with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulations, the resident begins a transition towards greater responsibility as their residency progresses.

Rotation Schedule

First Year Length
On-Campus Clinical Rotations 12 Month
Second Year Length
On-Campus Clinical Rotations 12 Months
Third Year Length
Research Up to 6 Months

Off-campus Rotations:

  • Pediatrics (U Penn)
  • Gynecologic Oncology (Wash U)
  • Baptist Hospital

On-Campus Rotations

  • Medical Oncology
  • Radiology

1 Month
1 Month
2 Months

2-8 months

1 month
1 month

Fourth Year Length
On-Campus Clinical Rotations 12 Months

Description of Clinical Rotations and Required Courses:

On-Campus Clinical Rotations: 2-3 month rotations with individual staff Radiation Oncologists. Rotations involve evaluating, treating, and managing patients with all types of malignancies. However, each staff member has several areas of expertise which are emphasized during their rotations:

  • Dr. Steven Buskirk
    • Genitourinary Malignancies
    • Thyroid Cancer
    • Benign Disease
  • Dr. Laura Vallow
    • Breast Cancer
    • CNS Malignancies
    • Gynecologic Malignancies
  • Dr. Stephen Ko
    • Gastrointestinal Malignancies
    • Lymphoma/Leukemia/Myeloma
    • Head and Neck Cancers
  • Dr. Cherie Hayostek
    • Lung Cancer
    • Soft Tissue Sarcoma
    • Skin Cancers
Off-Campus Rotations (4 months)
  • Pediatrics
    • University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
    • One month rotation
  • Gynecologic Oncology and Brachytherapy
    • Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri
    • One month rotation
  • Pediatrics, Brachytherapy, and Private Practice Experience
    • Baptist Hospital, Jacksonville, Florida
    • Two Month Rotation

Elective Rotations

The resident can apply through the residency director for additional clinical rotations that would enhance their education.

During the residency, according to ACGME, at least 36 months must be spent on clinical radiation oncology rotations. No more than 6 months can be spent off-campus.

Other Required Courses

  • Physics - First year residents have a 2 week, 2 hour/day physics orientation. Residents receive a general overview of radiation oncology terminology and technology. All PGY2-PGY4 residents receive a 40 week radiation oncology physics course. Each week there is a 2 hour lecture and 1 hour problem session. Exams are given periodically, including the ACR In-Service and RaPhex exam.
  • Radiobiology - The Radiobiology course consists of weekly one-hour lectures. On alternating years, this consists of an 8-week course or a 16-week course. In addition, once every 3 years, there is an intensive 2 week course that is given.
  • Practice Management - A series of lectures are given covering the topics of Radiation Oncology Practice Management and Life after Residency.
  • Statistics - A series of lectures are given covering Statistics in Radiation Oncology.


Didactic Conferences

Clinical conferences, formal courses, seminars, small discussion groups, journal clubs and one-on-one instruction are all an integral part of the Radiation Oncology Residency Program.

Regularly Scheduled Conferences include:

  • Oncology Core Curriculum
    • Weekly One-hour lectures, covering all oncology topics
  • Tumor Boards:
    • Breast Cancer - once a week
    • Lung Cancer - twice a week
    • GYN oncology - once every 2 weeks
    • Head and Neck - once a month
    • General Tumor board - once a week
    • Nuerosurgery Conference - once a week
  • Morning Conference
    • New patient presentations - twice a week
    • Journal Club or Resident lectures - once a week
    • Chart Rounds - once a week - review of new patients under treatment
  • Mayo Clinic offers a multitude of other educational lectures each week (NOTE- indent needs to be corrected)

Practice Board Exams

Practice Oral Board Exams are offered at least once a year to residents, in an effort to prepare them for their career, as well as to prepare them for board examinations.

Research Training

During their training, residents shall be required to complete an investigative project under faculty supervision. This may take the form of biological laboratory research, clinical research, medical physics research, or the retrospective analysis of data from treated patients. The results of such projects shall be suitable for publication in peer-reviewed scholarly journals or presentation at scientific meetings.

Residents are expected to present their data to the department, during their training program. It is also expected that they will attempt to present the data at a scientific meeting.

Residents may have up to 6 months that can be scheduled for dedicated research. However, in order to utilize the entire 6 months, they must submit a written proposal to the residency director.

Residents should explore research opportunities during their first year of residency. There are many physicians and scientists at Mayo Clinic that are able to facilitate their research. By the second year, the resident should have identified at least one project to pursue. Most residents will work on these projects throughout the residency program, with more intensive work during their research rotation.

An elective in the Cancer Biology Laboratories is also offered as a component of Research Training.


To ensure that you acquire adequate knowledge and develop your technical skills, your performance will be monitored carefully during the course of your residency. You will be formally evaluated by your supervising faculty member after each clinical rotation and on a quarterly basis by the allied health staff. In addition, you will regularly evaluate the faculty, rotations, and the program to ensure that your educational needs are being met.

Career Development

Residents will meet periodically with various faculty members and the training program director to discuss your professional goals. Mayo recruits many of its staff physicians from its own training programs. Thus, when you successfully complete the Radiation Oncology Residency Program, job opportunities may be available at one of Mayo's group practices. Mayo's vast alumni network is an asset and resource, providing opportunities in both academic and private practice.The Radiation Oncologists at Baptist Hospital periodically present a series of lectures on the topic of entering radiation oncology practice.

Visiting Professors

Prominent visiting professors periodically come to the Department of Radiation Oncology. Each visit lasts for two or three days. The professors present their work during noon and/or morning lectures. You also will have the chance to meet with them informally. You are encouraged to take full advantage of these opportunities.

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