Radiation Oncology Residency and Fellowship Training Program

Thank you for your interest in the department of radiation oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Our department offers eight residency positions (two per academic year) for a four-year training program with entry following completion of an intern year of your choice.

On July 1, 2012, Fox Chase Cancer Center, a freestanding NCI designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, became part of the Temple University Health System.  As part of this affiliation, the Fox Chase radiation oncology residency program is now administered through the Temple Graduate Medical Education office.  The residency continues to be based solely at Fox Chase Cancer Center.

Contacts

Joshua Meyer, MD,
Director of the Residency/Fellowship Training Program
215-728-2667
Lillian Daly, Residency Program Coordinator
215-728-3016 / Lillian.Daly@fccc.edu

Introduction

The training program in the department of radiation oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center is designed to provide the resident with a broad knowledge of clinical oncology, radiation biology, radiation physics and biostatistics through a diverse program incorporating didactic instruction, clinical experience, research opportunities and laboratory experience over four years. The program has a strong academic foundation and it is anticipated that residents will participate in research and publishing during their training to prepare them for a career in radiation oncology.

A strong clinical oncology experience is fostered by the one-on-one relationship between staff physicians and residents during their rotations. Teaching is emphasized by daily radiation oncology case conferences, daily multidisciplinary case conferences with the Fox Chase Cancer Center departments of surgical oncology, medical oncology, radiology and pathology, and weekly didactic lectures given by the staff. This clinical and didactic training may be enhanced by off-site clinical elective rotations or translational research in our division of radiation physics or biology with a multitude of opportunities in world class benchtop research at the center.

Fox Chase Cancer Center

Fox Chase is an academic institution with an emphasis on oncologic training. In addition to our residency program in radiation oncology, FCCC sponsors clinical fellowships in medical oncology, surgical oncology, urologic oncology and pathology. Surgical residents, internal medicine residents, and medical students from Temple University Hospital also rotate through the hospital for their oncology training.

Fox Chase is a founder of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) that includes Memorial Sloan-Kettering, MD Anderson, Dana Farber Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins, Stanford and other leading oncology centers. This network develops national standards for cancer treatment, measuring outcomes, and contracting for cancer services. Fox Chase is also the leader of the Fox Chase Cancer Center Partner community hospitals in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey region.

The Radiation Oncology Facility

The department of radiation oncology is equipped with five linear accelerators, SBRT, a CT simulator with 4D capability as well as a dedicated MRI simulator. The Buckingham satellite facility has a Varian Trilogy linear accelerator, a CyberKnife and a CT simulator with 4D capability. Patients are treated with both conformal and intensity modulated radiation therapy, as well as the latest in image guided radiation therapy, SRS, and SBRT. Patients are currently treated with interstitial low dose rate permanent seed implants and high dose rate temporary implants. A Nucletron remote afterloader is used in our dedicated brachytherapy suite for high-dose-rate implants. Available technology includes MV and kV cone beam CT, Calypso® 4D localization and tracking system, CT-on-rails, High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) and stereotactic radiosurgery/radiotherapy capabilities.

The Clinical Attending Physicians

The clinical division of our department consists of eight radiation oncologists with site-specific clinical and research responsibilities. The resident will spend one or more three-month rotations over a four-year period working on a one-to-one basis with each staff member.

Eric Horwitz, MD
Chair, Radiation Oncology
Attending Physician - Genitourinary Malignancies

Penny R. Anderson, MD
Vice Chair for Quality Assurance and Process Improvement
Attending Physician
Gynecologic, Breast and Sarcoma Malignancies

Shelly B. Hayes, MD
Director, Buckingham Radiation Therapy Facility

Thomas J. Galloway, MD
Director, Clinical Research
Attending Physician - Head and Neck and Cutaneous Malignancies

Mark Hallman, MD, PhD
Attending Physician - Thoracic Malignancies and Lymphoma

Joshua E. Meyer, MD
Director of the Residency/Fellowship Training Program
Attending Physician - Gastrointestinal and Thoracic Malignancies

Mark Sobczak, MD
Attending Physician, Genitourinary Malignancies

Stephanie Weiss, MD
Attending Physician – CNS and Breast Malignancies

The Clinical Experience

The department has established a national and international reputation in the treatment of breast, prostate, gastrointestinal, lung and gynecologic malignancies. We are also committed to participation in national cooperative group trials sponsored by the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group as a full member site, Eastern Oncology Cooperative Group and Gynecologic Oncology Group. Fox Chase will continue to be involved with the newly formed NRG Oncology cooperative group.  Approximately 2,000 consultations and 4,000 follow-up visits are seen by our staff each year. The department has approximately 100 patients under treatment each day. Patients seen in consultation or under treatment by a staff physician are evaluated initially by the resident.

Typically, residents have eight three month rotations within the department during their PGY2-3 years.  They PGY4 year is dedicated to 12 months of basic science or clinical research and administrative chief resident duties.  PGY5 residents have three months set aside for outside rotations in pediatrics and other electives and will complete their 36 months of clinical training. Each year, residents take part in the clinical in-service self-assessment examination given by the American College of Radiology.

Residents hold daily morning conferences four days a week, 8-9 am, where various oncologic and treatment topics are discussed with attending input and feedback. Every Tuesday morning, residents actively participate in the department chart rounds. Residents attend daily noon one-hour clinical multidisciplinary case conferences. Recent cases are reviewed and discussed with the surgical and medical oncologists, pathologists and radiologists (usually with lunch provided). The radiation department holds regular journal club, morbidity/mortality or resident clinical physics conferences. Residents not on-call must be in the department from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Residents are on-call by long-range beeper with an attending for a one-week period approximately every eight weeks. While on-call, the resident is responsible for after-hours patient calls (first triaged by the hospital nursing coordinator) and emergency consultations and treatments.

The Research Experience

Residents are expected to engage in clinical research and submit manuscripts during their training. 12 months of dedicated research time is provided during the PGY4 year.  During their training, residents are also encouraged to present their papers at major national meetings and have given multiple oral presentations in the last five years at the annual meetings of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).

Radiation Physics and Biology

The radiation physics department consists of doctoral-level physicists, masters-level physicists, dosimetrists and certified therapists. Residents receive two hours of didactic training each week in radiation physics and/or biology from September through June. The courses are given on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4 to 5 p.m. During this time, the residents are freed from other clinical activities. The courses emphasize both basic science and applications to clinical practice.

Resident Benefits

Residents are fully reimbursed to attend at least one national clinical conference per year beyond their first year. Additional conferences may be permitted by the clinical director when the resident has research accepted for presentation. Each resident is entitled to 15 days (three weeks) of vacation per year and 3 personal days.  There are eight paid holidays, of which during one the resident may also be on-call. Residents will receive an annual educational allowance of up to $650.00.  Health, vision, and dental insurance for the resident and their family are provided by the center at no cost to the resident. Term life insurance is also provided in the amount of $10,000 at no cost to the resident with additional coverage optional with additional premium. Long term disability coverage is provided at no cost.  Residents are provided with free parking in the hospital garage.

Additional Information

Applicants must arrange for and complete a PGY-1 year independently before beginning their residency training in radiation oncology. Please contact Dr. Joshua Meyer at 215-728-2667 or Lillian Daly at 215-728-3016/Lillian.Daly@fccc.edu for further information regarding residency training.

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