Residency in Medical Physics

Thank you for your interest in the Medical Physics Clinical Residency Program in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Residency training is conducted by faculty from the Division of Medical Physics and Engineering within the Department of Radiation Oncology. The Division of Medical Physics and Engineering is directed by Steve Jiang, Ph.D., and includes 21 faculty physicists (20 Ph.D., one M.S.), nine dosimetrists, 13 postdoctoral researchers, three visiting junior researchers, two service and research engineers, and three computer programmers.

The Residency Director and Associate Director are Paul Medin, Ph.D., and Arnold Pompos, Ph.D. The Medical Physics Residency Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Educational Programs (CAMPEP).

About the Program

This residency is a three-year program that emphasizes clinical excellence and academic career development in radiation oncology physics. The residency integrates two years of full-time clinical training and one year of research in medical physics. Residents become an integral part of the Department of Radiation Oncology performing clinical duties while interacting closely with the entire faculty and staff in a collegial manner.

Upon completion of the Residency Program, residents are expected to have a solid foundation on which to build an academic career in medical physics. The expected activities, objectives, and assessments to be completed during the Residency Program are well-defined and are presented to incoming residents upon their arrival. Didactic courses are available to residents but the majority of time is spent in “hands-on” clinical rotations.

Half of the faculty members in the Division of Medical Physics and Engineering are primarily focused on research and are heavily funded by the National Institutes of Health (three RO1 and two R21 grants), American Cancer Society, RSNA, the State of Texas (CPRIT), and industry. Total grant funding is close to $9 million. The Division controls an abundance of research lab and office space (7,000 square feet) with research equipment including an image-guided small animal irradiator and a GPU cluster (40 GPUs).

Examples of current research projects include GPU and cloud-based treatment planning and adaptive replanning, normal tissue toxicity, Monte Carlo simulation, low-dose and 4D CBCT reconstruction, and 4D radiation therapy and motion management. The research efforts of the Division are supported by a dedicated administrative staff, including personnel who handle grants in the pre- and post-award phases.

The physics faculty works closely with 18 radiation oncologists and 12 medical residents who provide services to more than 160 patients per day. Medical physics faculty also collaborate closely with colleagues in the Division of Molecular Radiation Biology, other UT Southwestern departments, and other UT campuses.

The benefits of the Medical Physics Residency include professional career training, a competitive salary and benefits package, and a professional allowance to support travel and other professional needs. Graduating residents are expected to be well-prepared for the American Board of Radiology examination in therapeutic radiological physics. Graduates are encouraged to become contributing members of the medical physics community at large.

Medical Physics Residency Statistics

Applicants 45 46 113 42 45 86 83
Accepted 2** 1 1 1 2 2 2
Graduating 0 1 1 1 1 1 2
Certified 0 0 1 1 1 1 1
Industry 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Clinical Positions 0 1 0 0 1 0 1
Academic Positions 0 0 1 1 0 1 1
Other activities 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

*We began requiring applicants to have a Ph.D. in 2011.
**We accepted one transfer from a CAMPEP-accredited residency as a senior resident.

Our residents have a first-time pass rate of 100 percent on all parts of the ABR exams.

Eligibility and Application

Applicants must have completed a Ph.D. degree in medical physics, physics, or a related field by the position start date. Preference is given to graduates of CAMPEP-approved medical physics graduate programs, but all qualifications are considered in the review process. All applicants are required to have completed a minimum of four (of six) graduate-level didactic courses described in AAPM Report 197S before entering the program.

Coursework completed outside a CAMPEP-accredited graduate program should be evaluated by the CAMPEP Graduate Education Program Review Committee for CAMPEP equivalence. Instructions for review of coursework can be found on the CAMPEP website.

Application materials are accepted only via the AAPM’s MP-RAP (Medical Physics Residency Application Program) website between October 15 and December 15 for the position starting the following July. Application materials received prior to or following these dates will not be considered. Incomplete applications will not be considered. We are recruiting through the Medical Physics Match Service.

To apply, applicants must participate in the Match and enter code number 16611 for our program. The application review process is typically completed by January 15 and the highest ranking candidates are invited for a personal interview planned to take place on February 23, 2015.

Potential applicants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with informational literature regarding the medical physics profession, such as (1) AAPM’s “The Medical Physicist,” (2) AAPM’s “The Roles, Responsibilities, and Status of the Clinical Medical Physicist,” and (3) AAPM Report No. 249, “Essentials and Guidelines for Clinical Medical Physics Residency Training Programs.” All three documents can be obtained from the American Association of Physicists in Medicine.

About Us

The Department of Radiation Oncology is a vibrant department equipped with two Varian TrueBeams, one Varian Trilogy, two Varian 2100Cs, a BrainLAB Vero, an Elekta Agility, an Elekta Perfexion Gamma Knife, Accuray CyberKnife, an Xstrahl superficial unit, Varian Varisource iX HDR afterloader, two Philips 16-slice Brilliance large-bore 4-D CT simulators, two Calypso electromagnetic tracking systems, two VisionRT systems, and Philips Pinnacle, Varian Eclipse, and BrainLAB iPlan treatment planning systems, all on one campus.

Our clinical facilities offer a broad range of radiation oncology procedures including: IMRT, SRS, SBRT, TBI, TSE, HDR, and LDR brachytherapy.

The Department has two large expansion projects in process including construction of a proton facility with four full gantries and one fixed beam line utilizing a Varian superconducting cyclotron (expected to open in early 2017). In addition, a new seven-vault conventional radiation facility will be constructed adjacent to our current facility (expected to open in 2016). The Department embraces education and supports a formal Radiation Oncology Residency Program, a Medical Physics Residency Program, an SBRT training program, and a variety of postdoctoral trainees in our research areas.

The Department of Radiation Oncology is part of the NCI-designated Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, which provides exceptional opportunities for translation of laboratory science into clinical trials and provides an integrated program of medical, radiation, and surgical oncology.

With six Nobel Laureates and 21 members of the National Academy of Sciences currently on faculty, UT Southwestern ranks among the top academic medical centers in the world. Its faculty members, who are responsible for a broad array of groundbreaking biomedical research advances, are respected for their dedication to teaching, training, and patient care. UT Southwestern, with more than 12,500 faculty and staff, provides training to nearly 4,600 medical, graduate, and allied health students, residents, and postdoctoral scholars each year.

Ongoing support from federal agencies, private foundations, individuals, and corporations provides more than $424 million per year to fund more than 3,500 research projects. Faculty members and residents provide care to nearly 91,000 hospitalized patients and oversee more than 2 million outpatient visits a year.

The City of Dallas 

Dallas/Fort Worth boasts a sophisticated, big-city style of living. D/FW is a cultural center, rich in the arts, as well as a sports center for major league teams in football, baseball, basketball, hockey, and soccer. The area has many recreational parks and opportunities to participate in outdoor sports all year round due to the mild winter weather. Dallas is a major fashion market center and has many exciting shopping malls, shops, and boutiques.

The affordable cost of living offers area residents a high quality of living for a relatively modest cost. Many trainees and students buy homes and cars and start families in the region, aided by the absence of state income tax in Texas.