Vanderbilt is a CAMPEP-accredited Medical Physics program 

medical physics residents


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Residency Program History and Applicant Information

Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s (VUMC) Department of Radiation Oncology offers a two year clinical medical physics residency program in Therapeutic Radiological Physics.  Medical physics is an applied branch of physics devoted to the application of concepts and methods from physics to the diagnosis and treatment of human disease.

VUMC has been clinically training medical physicists since 1997 via traditional Residency programs as well as the first accredited Doctorate in Medical Physics (DMP) program in the United States. VUMC has had a CAMPEP accredited Medical Physics graduate program and clinical training program (either Residency or DMP) since 2003.

In July 2019, VUMC again opened the residency program with training in Therapeutic Radiological Physics, accepting two applicants each year for a total of four residents in the program at any given time.

Our first residents will be graduating in June 2021.  The statistics for the program through the Academic 2020-21 year are shown below:

Residency Program History and Applicant Information

Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s (VUMC) Department of Radiation Oncology offers a two year clinical medical physics residency program in Therapeutic Radiological Physics.  Medical physics is an applied branch of physics devoted to the application of concepts and methods from physics to the diagnosis and treatment of human disease.

VUMC has been clinically training medical physicists since 1997 via traditional Residency programs as well as the first accredited Doctorate in Medical Physics (DMP) program in the United States. VUMC has had a CAMPEP accredited Medical Physics graduate program and clinical training program (either Residency or DMP) since 2003.

In July 2019, VUMC again opened the residency program with training in Therapeutic Radiological Physics, accepting two applicants each year for a total of four residents in the program at any given time.

Our first residents will be graduating in June 2021.  The statistics for the program through the Academic 2020-21 year are shown below:

Training Statistics

We will not be participating in the NMS Match program this academic year, and therefore, will be able to make offers to preferred applicants before the official Match date.  The qualified applicant may send application materials directly to the Program Director, Dr. Kenneth Homann, via email (information at end of listing).  Application materials/requirements requested include:

  • MS or PhD from a CAMPEP accredited graduate program
  • Applicant’s Curriculum Vitae
  • Official Transcripts of Undergraduate and Graduate Work
  • Cover Letter/Personal Statement
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation
  • GRE General Scores (if applicable)

The program is two years in length and begins ≈ June 20 of each year.  Two residency positions are offered annually.  Residents must have a M.S. or Ph.D. degree in therapeutic medical physics from a CAMPEP-accredited medical physics graduate program or show proof of a completed CAMPEP accredited alternative pathway by the start of the residency (AAPM Report NO. 197S). 

Successful candidates will possess the ability to work well in a strong team environment and have excellent communication skills.  Residents (designated as House Staff at VUMC) receive a competitive salary and benefits package as well (https://www.vumc.org/gme/2774). 

Applications for the 2021-2022 academic year are closed at this time; however, applications for the 2022-2023 academic year are open and due Monday, October 18, 2021.  Qualified applicants will be sent interview requests that will take place between a mutually agreed upon date between October 19, 2021 – December 17, 2021.  Offers will be sent out by Friday, January 7, 2021. 

Vanderbilt University Medical Center is nationally ranked in seven adult specialties in the US News and World Report Best Hospitals Honor Roll for 2020-2021 and is an NCI-designated cancer center. 

RESIDENCY PROGRAM GOALS   
The two major goals of the program are to provide a broad based in-depth training that will allow the graduate to integrate successfully into a clinical system, thus assuring the continued quality of medical care received by the radiation oncology patient; and to prepare the graduate for certification by the ABR in the specialty of Therapeutic Radiological Physics.

RESIDENCY PROGRAM OBJECTIVES        
Clinical Experience

The Resident shall participate in routine clinical operations serving in either the role of a dosimetrist or a physicist. The resident will be required to interact with physicians as well as the technical staff and is expected to manage the patient's treatment beginning with the simulation and ending with delivery.

Radiation Dosimetry for Patient Care

In order to accurately calculate the patient dose in a clinical environment, the Resident must be able to incorporate all the uncertainties associated with the process, including simulation, machine delivery variations, and limitations of dose calculation algorithms in the treatment planning computers.

Radiation Dosimetry for Radiation Protection of Staff, Patients and General Public
In order to provide protection from radiation to both the General Public as well as the Radiation Worker, one must possess knowledge of basic Radiation Biology and the State and Federal limits for radiation exposure. Legally required documentation includes demonstration that radiation-producing machines are calibrated according to recognized protocols from scientific agencies and that measured radiation in the working environment meets governmental standards.

Research Experience

The Resident will have opportunities to participate in clinically focused research project(s) that are designed to result in a manuscript and / or presentation(s) at a national meeting during their time at Vanderbilt.

Preparation for Board Exams

In addition to the clinical competency expected of the Resident in order to successfully complete certification by the ABR, the Resident will participate in oral exams similar in setting and scope of the ABR Part III Exam by the physics faculty every two months in the areas of medical physics they have been exposed to during that time.

Interpersonal and Communication Abilities
Residents must acquire and demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in an effective exchange of information and collaboration with physicians and departmental technical staff.

RESIDENCY PROGRAM CURRICULUM
The residency consists of eight to twelve modules over the course of the two-year training period.  Each module will last between two-three months.  The level of responsibility for each resident will increase as proficiency and experience is gained and validated.  First year residents will be under direct supervision for all tasks initially with the goal of their independence continually increasing as the first-year progresses.  Second year residents acquire even more responsibility as they continue to gain independence with the goal to be functioning as a junior physicist upon graduation.

DEPARTMENT DESCRIPTION
The Department of Radiation Oncology is currently staffed with thirteen (13) board-certified Medical Physicists (8 Ph.D., 5 M.S.) and six (6) Dosimetrists. The Downtown Nashville location is equipped with four (4) Varian linear accelerators: a Varian Trilogy, Novalis Tx, and two (2) TrueBeams. The Novalis Tx system is additionally equipped with BrainLab’s ExacTrac image guidance system, and all conventional accelerators support kilovoltage cone-beam CT as well as kV / MV portal imaging.  A Varian Optical Surface Monitoring System is utilized for DIBH treatments on both TrueBeam systems. Our four (4) satellite facilities house a total of five (5) Varian linear accelerators and, including a mix of TrueBeam and 21-series machines in addition to a newly-installed Ethos adaptive radiotherapy system.  Each facility is located within a 50-mile radius of the main facility in Nashville proper.

Additional clinical equipment includes: (1) five (5) CT Simulators (Philips, GE, and Siemens models); (2) two (2) Varian HDR afterloaders, one Varisource iX and one Bravos (gynecological, intracavitary, interstitial, and skin treatments), (3) an Axxent Xoft electronic brachytherapy system for intraoperative APBI, and (4) an intraoperative LDR seed implant program (prostate and eye plaque). Treatment planning systems include Varian Eclipse, Varian Ethos Treatment Planning System, BrainLab iPlan, and Varian BrachyVision/VariSeed. The Department also utilizes MIM Maestro for deformable image registrations and RadCalc as its secondary dose calculation engine. Varian’s ARIA suite serves as the Department’s record and verify system and VUMC utilizes EPIC for electronic medical record management.

If there are any further questions, please feel free to contact the Residency Program Director, Kenneth Homann, Ph.D., DABR.

Kenneth.l.homann@vumc.org