Curriculum

Curriculum

For information about our program's curriculum:

 


 

Program Objectives

 

Program objectives focus on AGH's three primary areas of excellence:

Patient Care

  • Provide the resident with supervised patient contact and comprehensive teaching in order to achieve proficient, thoughtful, compassionate and high quality care in an environment that encourages practice-based learning and improvement.
  • Encourage development of interpersonal and communication skills that enhance professional interaction with the broad scope of specialists, referring physicians or other professionals related to managing the patient’s care.

 

Education

  • Provide the resident with training in state-of-the-art radiation oncology, physics and radiation biology/cancer biology to enhance medical knowledge and through which professional expertise can be attained.
  • Utilize opportunities in multi-disciplinary conferences for the resident to present patient cases in an open forum for critical review, discussion and resolution.
  • Train the resident in the use of modern radiation therapy equipment, including teletherapy, brachytherapy devices, and computer software for dosimetry, treatment planning, and total patient management.

 

Research

Organize clinical research opportunities for the resident through participation in approved clinical trials, development of phase I/II clinical trials and/or review and presentation/publication of retrospective analyses of patient data.

 


Clinical Rotations

 

Residents must be primarily involved in the care of 150-250 patients per year, a minimum of 450 patients in 3 years, with a maximum of 750 patients in 3 years.  Clinical experiences are scheduled in interdepartmental clinics, pediatric radiation oncology, and radiation physics.

Interdepartmental Clinics

Efficient and expeditious multidisciplinary care of patients is a distinctive strength at Allegheny General Hospital. This process is operational for all disease sites. Multidisciplinary clinics have been established in prostate cancer, lung cancer, head and neck cancer, which provide a unique experience for resident education.

The Prostatic Cancer Clinic has been formulated into the Prostate Center at Allegheny General Hospital, which is a multidisciplinary patient oriented experience that is unique to Allegheny General Hospital. Patients are evaluated in a unique setting with urologists, radiation oncologists and specialty nurses and are given the opportunity to discuss their treatment options in a group setting as well as an individual setting. Feedback from this approach has been tremendous and provides for an excellent educational and therapeutic experience. The Department of Radiation Oncology and the Department of Urology at Allegheny General Hospital have one of the most advanced brachytherapy programs in the United States. Residents in training will participate in over 120 interstitial prostate implants per year.

The Allegheny General Hospital Lung Center provides comprehensive care for patients with lung cancer. This center brings together thoracic surgical oncologists, pulmonologists, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, basic scientists, data managers, computer specialists, statisticians, respiratory therapists, specialty nurses and social workers in one location allowing for more comprehensive and expeditious care of patients.

New head and neck cancer patients are jointly evaluated by Head and Neck Surgeons and Radiation Oncologists. While undergoing radiation therapy the patients are jointly examined, and their progress is reviewed on a weekly basis.

Pediatric Radiation Oncology

The Department of Radiation Oncology at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., offers an excellent two-month rotation in pediatric radiation oncology for Allegheny General Hospital radiation oncology residents at the PGY4 or 5 level. The program introduces residents to the major pediatric cancers reviewing in both clinical and didactic sessions the clinical aspects of childhood cancer.

Techniques specific to treating all common pediatric neoplasms are reviewed during the rotation with residents actively participating both in patient evaluation and treatment planning under the close supervision of the radiation oncology faculty. Residents also have the opportunity to monitor patients under treatment, participate in both short- and long-term follow-up, participate in national pediatric oncologic protocols and attend weekly tumor boards related to leukemia, solid tumors and brain tumors. This experience is an unparalleled unique opportunity which has become a favorite of the residents.

Clinical areas of focus include childhood leukemia, tumors of the central nervous system, pediatric sarcoma (Ewing's sarcoma, rhadbomyosarcoma and other less common types of soft tissue and bone sarcomas) neuroblastoma, Wilms tumor, Hodgkin disease, malignant lymphoma and other less common childhood cancers.

Allegheny General Hospital assumes full financial responsibility for travel and lodging expenses.

Radiation Physics

Residents also spend a one-month clinical rotation in medical physics to gain hands-on experience with the practical aspects of treatment planning, computerized dosimetry, and machine calibration and operation. During the course of the training program, residents also are encouraged and given opportunities to participate in basic laboratory or clinical physics research.
 

 


Rotation Schedule

 

The Radiation Oncology rotations consist of:

  • Core Curriculum - 36 months
  • Research - 8 months
  • Pediatrics - 2 months
  • Medical Oncology - 1 month
  • Imaging - 1 month

 

The rotation schedule by year is as follows:

PGY2 1 week Radiation Physics-Introduction
  3 months Clinical Radiation Oncology Rotation - Lung/GI/Reticuloendothelial/CNS
  3 months Clinical Radiation Oncology Rotation - Genitourinary/CNS/Lung
  3 months Clinical Radiation Oncology Rotation - H&N/Colorectal/Eye and Orbit
  3 months Clinical Radiation Oncology Rotation - Gynecology/Breast/Soft Tissue and Bone/Skin/Lung
PGY3 3 months Clinical Radiation Oncology Rotation - Lung/GI/Reticuloendothelial/CNS
  3 months Clinical Radiation Oncology Rotation - Genitourinary/CNS/Lung
  3 months Clinical Radiation Oncology Rotation - H&N/Colorectal/Eye and Orbit
  3 months Clinical Radiation Oncology Rotation - Gynecology/Breast/Soft Tissue and Bone/Skin/Lung
PGY4 7 months Research Rotation
  2 months Clinical Elective Rotation
1) Imaging or 2) Medical Oncology
  2 months Clinical Radiation Oncology Rotation - Pediatrics (St. Jude)
  1 month Elective - Advanced Radiation Oncology/Surgical Oncology/Pathology
PGY5 3 months Clinical Radiation Oncology Rotation - Lung/GI/Reticuloendothelial/CNS
  3 months Clinical Radiation Oncology Rotation - Genitourinary/CNS/Lung
  3 months Clinical Radiation Oncology Rotation - H&N/Colorectal/Eye and Orbit
  3 months Clinical Radiation Oncology Rotation - Gynecology/Breast/Soft Tissue and Bone/Skin/Lung