Day in the Life of a Resident

Sample week
SAMPLE WEEK: Protected time (i.e. no clinic responsibility) – morning conference, journal club, physics and biology lectures, Friday lecture series.

Morning Conference

Resident-directed morning conferences occur on Monday and Thursday of each week from 7:45 – 8:30 AM. We devote the entire week to a particular disease, covering epidemiology, natural history, staging, diagnostic work-up, and treatment planning. The supervising attending is also present to aid in literature review and discussion of current developments and controversies.

Treatment Planning Conference

Every Wednesday morning from 7:45-8:30 AM, a conference coordinated by the physics group is presented covering topics related to treatment planning, including dose calculation algorithms, delivery techniques, quality assurance, or target delineation. As a resident, you are involved in presenting one such conference per year, typically in conjunction with physics and dosimetry staff.

Friday Lecture Series

Guest lecturers from outside the Department of Radiation Oncology are invited to discuss relevant topics with the residents on Friday afternoons. Speakers come from all relevant disciplines.  Previous speakers have included urologists, surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, radiologists, gynecologic oncologists, plastic surgeons, dermatologists, and palliative care specialists.  Occasionally, a faculty member from our department will review a disease site in an “oral boards” style question and answer format.

Grand Rounds

The first Thursday of each month from 7:45-8:30 AM, a radiation oncology faculty member will present a formal lecture detailing their current research interests.

Morbidity and Mortality

One Tuesday each month from 7:45-8:30 AM, residents and faculty discuss morbidity and mortality.  Patients who have experienced treatment breaks, ER visits, or toxicity are discussed with an educational perspective.

Journal Club

Once a month from 12:00-1:00 PM, a physician, physicist, and biologist each select one article for discussion. Along with a supervising attending, a resident will present approximately four articles over the course of the clinical year. The entire department meets to discuss these articles over lunch.


Physics lectures are on Tuesdays from 7:30-8:45 am and attended by all residents other than those chiefs who have already passed their radiation physics board examinations. Lectures in radiobiology are attended by PGY 2 and 4 residents in the fall and spring. Radiobiology lectures are on Wednesdays from 4:00 – 5:15 PM. Residents also attend an 8-week course in medical statistics every other year.

Multidisciplinary Tumor Boards

Residents attend multidisciplinary tumor boards relevant to their rotation. The exposure to medical oncology, pathology, surgical oncology, and radiology serves to meet ACGME requirements in these areas.