About the Specialty
Radiation Oncology is a specialty that uses radiation in a controlled manner to treat cancer and some benign conditions. We care for patients of all ages and all stages of disease, and are part of the curative and palliative treatment of malignant disease.
Answers to Common Questions
- Attributes of a Competitive Student
What factors typically make a student competitive for this specialty?
Publications, high board scores, good medicine/surgery clerk score.
How important is research experience in your specialty? If important, does it need to be in the specialty itself?
Very, but it doesn’t have to be in specialty.
How can students identify opportunities for shadowing?
Both ROSIG and Melissa Gayle. firstname.lastname@example.org
What electives would you recommend to a student who is interested in pursuing your specialty?
Surg Onc, Med Onc, Interventional Radiology, Radiology
Based on your experience, what tips do you have for students to shine on your electives?
Prepare each patient and learn NCCN guidelines prior, ask questions!
- Away Rotations
Does your specialty recommend doing away rotations?
If your specialty recommends doing away rotations, how many “aways” do you recommend?
One to two, (besides UT Southwestern).
If away rotations are necessary, when should they apply and when should they be completed?
As early as possible, before September of the year they are interviewing
- Interview Timing
Which month do you recommend taking off to interview?
December and January
- Letters of Recommendation
How many letters of recommendation are needed to apply to your specialty?
Three letters of recommendation are required, but only one from Radiation Oncology.
Does your specialty recommend that all letters of recommendation be written by members of your specialty?
No; a research adviser and a strong clinical rec are good.
If letters can come from other disciplines, do you have a recommendation as to which disciplines are more highly valued?
Head and Neck Surg, Medicine Oncology, Internal Medicine, Surgical Oncology
Does the academic rank of the letter writer matter?
A little; name recognition is key.
Does your specialty require a letter from the chairman?
- Radiation Oncology Education Collaborative Study Group
- Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology (ARRO)