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Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer CenterVanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center


Residency Program

The objective of the residency in Radiation Oncology at Vanderbilt University is to educate and train physicians to be skillful in the practice of Radiation Oncology and to be caring and compassionate in the treatment of patients. Residents will be trained in the multidisciplinary management of cancer patients and will learn to collaborate closely with physicians in related disciplines and become familiar with their role in the management of the patient. The primary focus of the Radiation Oncology Residency Training Program is education in radiation medicine including oncology, tissue ablation and benign diseases. The secondary goal is training in cancer research. The residents will be trained in tumor biology, physiology and the study of novel targets for cancer treatment. The residents will not be considered providers of service to Radiation Oncologists or any other attendings at Vanderbilt University.

The Residency Program in Radiation Oncology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center provides an outstanding educational environment dedicated to empowering physicians so that they can become leading academic clinicians and scientists. We use a multi-faceted approach that consists of

  1. training in the multidisciplinary management of cancer;
  2. didactic course work in cancer biology, radiation biology, and medical physics;
  3. mentoring in professional development;
  4. the opportunity to perform research in the laboratories of a number of outstanding Vanderbilt scientists who utilize cutting edge techniques coupled with highly collaborative approaches;
  5. multi-disciplinary Tumor Boards and Seminar Series designed to foster interactions between basic scientists and clinician/scientists who perform translational research;
  6. grant writing workshops;
  7. attendance at scientific/medical conferences.

This approach has proved highly successful. Upon finishing our residency program, our residents have all been offered highly coveted academic positions at leading medical institutions.

The primary focus of the Radiation Oncology Residency Training Program is education in radiation medicine including oncology. A secondary goal is training in research. Research may be undertaken in the following disciplines: Clinical sciences, physical sciences, and/or biological sciences. Residents are expected to publish 1 peer-reviewed paper during the course of their residency and to participate in research for twelve months. Many of our residents participate in specialized research training programs that allow extra research months.

Clinical training includes diagnosis, patient evaluation, staging, recommending treatment, and implementation.

  • Megavoltage radiotherapy and electron beam
  • Computerized treatment planning
  • Construction of treatment aids
  • Brachytherapy implantation and dose calculation
  • Radiosurgery for neoplasms, meningiomas, arteriovenous malformations.
  • Radioimmunotherapy
  • Plaque therapy
  • Conformal and/or 3 dimensional treatment planning
  • Total skin irradiation for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
  • Total body irradiation as preparation for bone marrow transplantation
  • HDR brachytherapy
  • Quality assurance programs
  • Chart rounds and port film checks.


Didactic course work consists of classes in Radiation Biology, Cancer Biology, Medical Physics

The Physics Laboratory will focus on calibration and monitoring of equipment and radiation safety procedures, such as safe handling of isotopes.

Residents will attend weekly didactics. In addition, they will attend multidisciplinary tumor boards, quality assurance (chart rounds), new patient management conference (morning conference) and radiation oncology seminar series which will include resident seminars, dosimetry conference, morbidity and mortality and radiation oncology grand rounds.

Residents interested in basic or translational research have the opportunity to work with the Radiation Oncology Faculty or any Vanderbilt Researcher of their choice. Research space within the Department of Radiation Oncology consists of 6,500 sq. ft. of radiation biology research space that includes a 300 kVp X-ray machine, a Co-60 source and a Cs-137 source. There is 1000 sq. ft. dedicated to physics and dosimetry research. Special research facilities include radiation biology laboratory for the treatment of animal tumor models and cells in culture. Residents can assess all Cancer Center Core Laboratories including Molecular Recognition, Mass Spectrometry, Cell Imaging, Micro Array, Laser Dissection and Electron Microscopy. Special clinical research facilities include imaging modalities in radiology for 3 dimensional treatment planning and intensity modulated radiation therapy.

Residents are encouraged to attend and present their work at national scientific conferences. Our residents routinely are invited to give oral presentations at these conferences and many garner prestigious awards.

Information for Applicants to Radiation Oncology Residency

We are pleased that you are interested in the radiation oncology residency programs at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. We are committed to providing quality graduate medical education for tomorrow's radiation oncologists, VUMC offers a teaching facility with diverse patient populations, state-of-the art technology, cutting edge research, and outstanding faculty.

Individuals applying for residency in radiation oncology must hold a medical degree from an accredited institution. We are a four year training program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). All applicants must have completed a minimum of an internship, at an accredited institution, prior to beginning their PGY2 year with us. Your program director will be contacted and written documentation of successful completion of the PGY1 year is required. If you hold a foreign medical degree, a valid certificate from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) is also required. If you graduated from a medical school outside of the US, Canada or Puerto Rico, a copy of a valid ECFMG Certificate is required. The Administrative Director for GME at Vanderbilt is the designated Training Program Liaison for ECFMG Graduates. If you are a foreign national, a copy of a valid J-1 or H-B visa is required.

Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity institution offering excellent benefits for all employees. A partial listing of benefits can be viewed on our website. On acceptance to our program all residents must successfully pass reference and background screenings.

We accept applications through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). We participate in the National Residency Matching Program.