Radiation Oncology Schools: How to Choose

Radiation oncology programs are available as residencies once a student has completed general medical school. These programs teach students advanced medical concepts, such as radiotherapy and brachytherapy.

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According to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), 89 accredited radiation oncology residency programs existed in the U.S. in 2014, giving aspiring radiation oncologists many options to consider.

Schools with Radiation Oncology Programs

These postsecondary institutions provide training programs for aspiring oncologists:

School/Institution Location Institution Type
University of California - San Francisco San Francisco, CA 4-year, Public
Stanford University Stanford, CA 4-year, Private
University of Florida Gainesville, GA 4-year, Public
American Osteopathic College of Radiology Multiple locations Professional, Private
Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD 4-year, Private
Loma Linda University Loma Linda, CA 4-year, Private
Loyola University Chicago, IL 4-year, Private
Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, PA 4-year, Private
University of Buffalo Buffalo, NY 4-year, Public
University of Arizona Tucson, AZ 4-year, Public

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School Selection Criteria

Consider the following when looking for a radiation oncology residency program:

  • Students should make sure that the programs they are considering have been accredited by the ACGME. Participating in an accredited program ensures that the education, clinical experience and research offered fulfills medical standards for both the profession and the particular discipline.
  • Since hands-on training with patients and equipment is important in the field of radiation oncology, a student should consider the institution's opportunities in these areas when selecting a residency program. Facilities with current, state-of-the-art equipment in the field of radiation oncology or a high volume of patients might offer more comprehensive training.
  • Research opportunities are also an important aspect of training in the field of radiation oncology. Improvements to effective treatments are always being investigated, and if a student has interest in being a part of these discoveries, they might consider residency programs that have a strong emphasis on research in the field of oncology.

Radiation Oncology Residency Program Overview

Radiation oncology residency programs are designed to prepare doctors to work independently to develop treatment plans, operate radiological equipment and provide education to cancer patients. At least 36 months of the four years is spent training in the school's radiation oncology clinic, evaluating patients, learning how to stage and operate the equipment for treatments and planning a treatment strategy. Residents also receive training in several methods of performing radiological treatments, such as the application of gamma rays or charged particle beams.

After earning a medical degree, aspiring radiation oncologists can get practical, field-specific training by completing a residency program in the field.

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