Medical Radiation Oncology

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More About Medical Radiation Oncology Residency Program

The Department of Radiation Oncology is part of the UMMC Cancer Center and Research Institute and is a full academic department recognized for cancer treatments and research studies.

The radiation oncology residency program is oriented toward providing residents with a solid foundation for understanding the scientific advances that are constant in this field. Emphasis is placed on the development and assessment of residents' skills in each of the following competencies also required by the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

Goals and objectives

Primary goals and objectives for the training program are to provide each resident with a firm understanding of the following, the six competencies of the ACGME:

  • Patient care
  • Medical knowledge
  • Practice-based learning and improvement
  • Interpersonal and communication skills
  • Professionalism
  • Systems-based practice


Residents complete work in three locations:

  • UMMC main hospital.
  • UMMC Cancer Center and Research Institute outpatient clinics at Jackson Medical Mall, 1 mile from the main campus.
  • G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery Veterans Administration Medical Center, adjacent to the UMMC main campus.

Residents serve two-month rotations in each of the six radiation services. Each year those assignments are reviewed and may be changed to meet the resident’s research and teaching needs.

PGY-2 year

  • Breast cancer service (Breast)
  • Central nervous system/pediatrics service (CNS/Peds)
  • Gastrointestinal service (GI)
  • Gynecology service/sarcoma service (GYN/Sarc)
  • Head and neck service (H&N)
  • Lung/lymphoma (L/L)

PGY-3 year

Residents may rotate less at the VA during the PGY 2 year, and gradually increase at successive levels in the program. Clinical services with small clinic load are combined into a joint-service rotation.

PGY-4 and PGY-5 years

Research rotations begin in a resident’s third or fourth year. Research rotations last four to 12 months depending on the project and clinical coverage needs. Typically, one resident is assigned to work with one of six attending physicians.

Didactic learning

Residents must complete formal courses in Medical Physics and Cancer Biology. These courses alternate each year and are taught from September-April starting at 7 a.m. in the Radiation Oncology Department at Jackson Medical Mall. Topics are updated to meet the training requirements set by the American Board of Radiology. 


Residents are expected to participate in and attend a variety of conferences.

  • Morning conferences, led by the residents, are held each weekday morning.
  • Resident report: Residents lead practice-based sessions on specific types of cancer and the most current guidelines for treatment.
  • Journal club: Residents lead discussion of articles from leading cancer journals, especially “The Red Journal.”
  • Mortality/Morbidity (M&M): Residents lead review of specific cases where significant toxicities occurred.
  • Faculty lectures: Department faculty present a series of interactive lectures focusing on their cancer specialty (e.g., GYN cancers, CNS, Breast, etc.)
  • Tumor boards/chart rounds: The pathology and treatment regimen of current cases are discussed at 13 Cancer Center and Research Institute interdisciplinary conferences and at the VA conferences.
  • Grand rounds: Eminent faculty in Radiation Oncology are invited to visit.