Advanced Radiation Oncology: Fellowship
MD Anderson Cancer Center encourages physicians who want additional clinical training and research experience before entering practice full-time to consider the fellowship program in radiation oncology. The one- to two-year fellowship offers a unique opportunity to expand clinical and research experience. Fellows can choose five disease sites as topics for rotations or may select fewer sites to gain greater depth.
The fellowship is designed to cultivate familiarity with the application of such new technology as intensity-modulated radiotherapy, gated respiratory therapy and proton therapy. It is designed for those with an academic interest. Two to four fellows are chosen each year.
- To provide focused specialized clinical and clinical research training in a disease site or sites for candidates interested in an academic career
- To provide a fellowship specialized in one or more new radiation technologies (IMRT, gated radiotherapy, conformal/ stereotactic radiotherapy imaging for treatment planning, proton therapy). This fellowship would include site-specific clinical training and physics-based mentoring for either candidates with an academic interest or candidates hoping to practice these new technologies internationally
- To provide additional generalized clinical training to well-trained and qualified candidates who are dedicated to returning to an international setting
General Fellowship, Pediatric Radiotherapy Fellowship and the Specific Radiotherapy Fellowship
- The General Radiation Oncology Fellowship is designed to develop professional competence in the overall care of patients undergoing radiotherapy and to enhance technical skill in radiotherapy and brachytherapy procedures. Fellows work in clinical services for rotations of 8 - 9 weeks, participating in all aspects of radiotherapeutic treatment. To supplement clinical training, fellows are encouraged to attend a wide variety of lectures, seminars, symposia and conferences regularly held at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Among these are a clinical lecture series, a radiation physics course and a radiobiology series. Additionally, the institution offers a core curriculum series that includes lectures on molecular biology, statistics and clinical ethics.
- The Pediatric Radiotherapy Fellowship is designed to further develop professional competence in the management of children with cancer. Fellows work in assigned clinical services for eight to 10 months, with remaining time dedicated to research. At least one research project, preferably related to the application of new technology such as stereotactic, intensity-modulated radiotherapy or proton therapy, is required. The project’s topic may be physics or primarily clinical. Like the general radiation oncology fellows, trainees are encouraged to attend a wide variety of lectures, seminars, symposia and conferences regularly held at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Tumor boards and working meetings are also available at Texas Children’s Hospital, where some of the referrals come from. The pediatric radiation oncology fellow will also have the opportunity to teach radiation oncology residents and pediatric oncology fellows in the Peds/CNS service. The department sees one of the largest numbers of pediatric patients treated with radiotherapy. The pediatric radiation oncology trainee will be exposed to a variety of conditions including primary brain, soft tissue and bone tumors, neuroblastoma, Wilms’ tumor, lymphoma, leukemia and metastatic disease. Proton therapy, IMRT, total body irradiation and eye plaques are available treatment technologies in the department. The current teaching faculty includes 5 attending physicians who specialize in childhood cancer. Attending physicians participate and present at national and international conferences including ASTRO, Pediatric Radiation Oncology Society (PROS) and International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP).
- The Specific Radiotherapy Fellowship is especially designed to further develop professional competence in technically demanding areas of radiation oncology. Fellows work in assigned clinical services for four to six months (three to four rotations), although at the request of the fellow, the entire year may be spent on one service. At least one research project, preferentially related to the application of new technology such as stereotactic or intensity-modulated radiotherapy, is required. The project’s topic may be physics or primarily clinical.
Trainee Selection Criteria
Trainees may be accepted for a one- to two-year Radiation Oncology Fellowship if they have completed a radiotherapy residency of at least three years. International graduates are required to train under the J1 visa and must possess a valid ECFMG certificate to be eligible for consideration, and at least one year of clinical training in the United States is preferable.
Candidates for fellowship training positions are considered from July through September; however, other opportunities may be available later. After January 15, applications may be considered for any available position on a first-come first-served basis. The Radiation Oncology Residency Training Committee interviews candidates and extends offers based on the outcome of the interviews.
Dr. Prajnan Das, Residency Program Director
Denise De La Cruz, M.Ed., Residency Program Manager
Department of Radiation Oncology—Unit 97
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
1515 Holcombe Boulevard
Houston, Texas 77030
Telephone: 713-792-2534 (Denise)