Medical Physics Residency Program


Brief Description of Radiation Oncology Service:

University of Washington medical physicists provide clinical support and conduct clinical research and development at the UW Medical Center (UWMC) and affiliate institutions in Seattle. Residents will be primarily based at UWMC but have the opportunity to rotate through medical physics services provided at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), Harborview Medical Center (HMC), Veterans Administration Hospital, Northwest Hospital (NWH) and the ProCure proton therapy facility that is currently under construction at the NWH campus. Radiation therapy equipment and procedures at UWMC and its affiliates are state-of-the-art. There are opportunities for new medical physics residents to gain experience with neutron therapy, proton therapy, gamma knife therapy, conventional x-ray and electron therapy, and brachytherapy (eye plaques, prostate seed implants, HDR and LDR).  Various linac “on-board” and “in-room” 3D imaging guidance systems plus record and verify software is available for treatment. CT-simulation, PET-CT simulation and MRI fusion is standard input to the treatment planning computer systems of which the main one used at UWMC is a Phillips Pinnacle Smart Enterprise system. Additionally, UWMC and SCCA run a large total body irradiation (TBI) program in association with the world-renown Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and offer the region’s cancer clinics opportunities for intra-operative radiation therapy (IORT) using electron beam therapy. IMRT, VMAT, SBRT and a host of other linear accelerator based therapy techniques are planned and performed.


Brief Description of the Medical Physics Residency Program:

Medical physics residents complete a 2 year clinical program consisting of didactic instruction and mentored rotations, including simulation and treatment planning, external beam therapy, brachytherapy, special procedures, therapy device maintenance and QA, and therapy device and software commissioning. Shielding calculations, radiation surveys and applicable radiation regulations are covered as an integral part of the didactic instruction and clinical rotations, as well as dosimetry equipment training and usage.

Performance of the resident is monitored through competency-based evaluations. Residents must achieve a satisfactory level of performance to progress through the program and a major assessment and evaluation of performance occurs at the end of each year on the program. There are a minimum of two residents in the program in any given year.

Residents are expected to participate in interdisciplinary clinical research and development projects in the department. For a description of the mentoring faculty available and their research interests please refer to the faculty web page. Research within the department focuses on advanced techniques for treatment individualization, including multi-objective plan optimization using physical and biological criteria and the integration of information from new imaging modalities into the treatment planning process.