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Curriculum and Didactics

The IU School of Medicine Radiation Oncology Residency clinical curriculum consists of 40 months of clinical radiation oncology rotations and eight months of electives. Clinical rotations focus on subsite-specific services and are typically two months in length. Six elective months are dedicated to research and two months are dedicated to clinical electives.

Resident education is multi-faceted and includes resident-led case conferences, formal radiation physics and biology courses, monthly joint conferences with the medical oncology fellows, quarterly department-wide journal clubs, and more. All resident education is protected from clinical responsibilities.


The program’s primary clinical teaching conference is a topic-based case conference led by residents with support and input from faculty sponsors. These conferences take place twice-per-week and are organized by monthly disease sites. For example, July focuses on thoracic malignancies. We offer monthly mock oral exams at the end of a disease site, and a yearly all disease site mock oral session for which we invite former residents to facilitate preparation for oral boards.

Formal courses in radiation physics and radiation/cancer biology are taught by departmental faculty, medical physicists and radiobiologists. All formal courses meet twice-per-week and are co-registered at Indiana University Purdue University – Indianapolis (IUPUI).

  • PGY2 residents are required to enroll in formal courses in radiation physics (fall semester) and radiation biology (spring semester).
  • PGY4 residents are expected to audit the formal courses in preparation for the first phase of boards which are typically taken during July of the PGY5 year. Once residents receive news that they passed their boards - if taken early - auditing is no longer required.

Monthly informational education sessions are held with medical oncology fellows. These sessions cover topics that center on controversies in oncology, typically where the role of chemotherapy or radiation is debatable. Social events are also organized to round out each year of training.

Quarterly department-wide journal clubs are led by residents with attendance from across the department. These journal clubs explore recent high-impact journal articles discussing aspects of clinical radiation oncology as well as basic and translational science related to oncology.

Additional Educational Experiences

The IU School of Medicine Department of Radiation Oncology also sponsors resident participation in the following educational experiences:

This several day workshop is organized by palliative care faculty at IU School of Medicine and focuses on communication with cancer patients. PGY2s attend typically in the spring of the PGY2 year.

This several day, short course in biostatistics is designed for health care researchers and is a good resource for learning more about clinical trial design.