The radiation oncology residency program at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine/University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center is a comprehensive, fully accredited four-year program dedicated to excellence in education. Our program's mission is to prepare highly motivated physicians for successful careers in academic radiation oncology. Toward this end, the rigorous program combines extensive training in radiation physics and radiation biology but is anchored by a strong foundation of exceptional multidisciplinary patient care. While the technology available in our department is world class, the training program prepares residents to be expert multidisciplinary evidenced-based decision makers.
The Department treats over 250 patients per day across ten clinical facilities in the Greater Cleveland area. While the department overall is decentralized, the majority of the resident's time is spent on clinical rotations at the main campus Seidman Cancer Center facility. In addition to extensive use of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), current treatment modalities include:
- Gamma knife radiosurgery
- Linear accelerator-based Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT)
- Intraoperative radiation therapy (Mobetron)
- High Dose Rate (HDR) brachytherapy
- Low Dose Rate (LDR) brachytherapy
- Cyberknife for both intracranial and extracranial tumors
- Total body irradiation
- Total skin electron beam
- Proton beam therapy
There are busy brachytherapy services for both prostate and gynecological cancer. All of the patients from the adjoining Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital are treated within our department providing a busy pediatric service. Clinical trial participation is a top priority and the Department is consistently one of the nation's top accruers to National Research Group (NRG) Oncology trials. The Department continues to strive for state-of-the-art treatment options which culminated in the opening of our proton beam facility in July 2016.
Resident training includes a minimum of 36 months of clinical work. During this time, residents rotate for two-month blocks on a specialty service based at the main campus. The rotations include:
- Central Nervous System (CNS)
- Head and Neck
The residents also have the opportunity to rotate at one of the ambulatory clinics at Chagrin Highlands, located eight miles east of main campus, as well as rotations at the Louis Stokes VA Medical Center. Residents participate in all aspects of clinical care including initial consultation and treatment selection; treatment planning; on-treatment management; and follow-up care.
Didactic Lectures and Conferences
The patient care responsibilities are complemented by numerous protected teaching conferences including:
- Weekly resident case conference
- Grand rounds
- Journal club
- Morbidity and mortality conference
- Chart rounds
Introductory clinical didactics are offered by faculty throughout the academic year, and faculty members conduct lectures annually in the formal radiation oncology grand rounds. The grand rounds lecture series is supplemented by prestigious visiting professors several times each academic year. The comprehensive physics and radiobiology courses are attended by (Post graduate Year) PGY2 and PGY4 residents. Our residents are also encouraged to attend the weekly Seidman Cancer Center grand rounds for lectures on medical oncology topics.
The Cancer Center conducts weekly multidisciplinary disease-specific discussions in all oncology subspecialties. Residents are expected to attend these tumor boards when pertinent to their current clinical rotation and encouraged to be active participants in patient management discussions.
Residents are encouraged to complete a minimum of six months of dedicated research time. All proposed research projects must first be approved by the resident's mentor and the departmental leadership. For qualified and motivated residents, additional research time—up to 12 months total—is available. The research time allows maximum flexibility and may be conducted on a wide range clinical or technical topics. Basic science research may be conducted within the department's Division of Radiation Biology or elsewhere in the medical school, such as the Department of Biomedical Engineering or the Case Center for Imaging Research (CCIR). Our faculty feels strongly that a full 36 months of clinical experience is a necessary component of residency training. Therefore, the Holman research pathway is not offered. For those highly motivated and qualified residents, more research time such as post-doctoral fellowships can be arranged on an individual basis.
The application process is conducted through the Electronic Residency Application System (ERAS). The department participates in the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP).
Residents are employees of University Hospitals and as such receive salary and benefits from that corporation and must satisfy their conditions of employment. As of January 1, 2012, University Hospitals will no longer employ persons who use any form of tobacco products. Prospective employees are tested for tobacco use as part of the pre-employment lab screening process.
Mitchell Machtay, MD
Interim Residency Program Director
Tithi Biswas, MD
Associate Residency Program Director
Residency Program Administrator
For additional information on our Residency training program please contact Kelly Sliter: 216.844.2518