About the Medical Physics Residency Program

The Medical Physics Residency Program accepts residents in Radiation Therapy Physics. Prospective residents are those with a Master, Certificate, or Doctoral degree in Medical Physics from a Program accredited by CAMPEP or a related discipline approved by CAMPEP. The program does not accept applicants who are graduates from non-CAMPEP graduate or certificate programs.

Once accepted, the resident will be an employee at the University of Pittsburgh Hillman Cancer Center and will be provided with an annual salary commensurate to the title of medical physics resident in the institution. In 2020, the annual salary of the medical physics resident was $52,900. In addition, the resident is covered by the health benefits and retirement options similar to the other employees.

Medical physics residents are provided with in-depth training based on full clinical participation with staff medical physicists, and will be trained in:

  • Acceptance testing
  • Commissioning
  • Calibration
  • Quality assurance
  • Support for special procedures using medical linear accelerators, imaging, dosimetric systems

This program will enable the trainee to perform routine duties as a clinical medical physicist after graduation and contribute to the quality of medical care received by radiation oncology patients.

Training will take place under the close supervision of board-certified and/or experienced radiation oncology physicists. This program emphasizes training in all areas of clinical radiation oncology physics and provides the trainee with relevant experience to prepare them to practice independently in a state-of-the-art radiation treatment facility.

Any resident entering into the residency program is required to take the following classes:

  • Didactic medical physics: a seven-month course during the first year of residency program, which meets once per week for two hours.
  • Radiation biology: a two-week intensive course meeting once in the fall for five days at eight hours per day; and once in the spring with the same schedule.

The course schedule is then repeated during the second year of the residency program. Tumor boards and conference schedules will be discussed each year with the medical physics resident. The training curriculum essentials are comprised of two parts: clinical rotations that are broken up into 21 modules, and two oral examinations.

At the beginning of the program, residents will be required to participate in a two-week orientation, as well as a basic radiation safety and an electrical safety overview.

At this time, resident will learn what equipment they are allowed to access, and their competency to perform a given task independently will be validated. At the end of each rotation, the mentor and other instructors will examine competency of the resident on the subject matter covered and obtain resident feedback. Performance standards are based on an assessment of the resident’s knowledge about the rotation objectives and ability to independently perform specific clinical tasks.