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Electives - Radiation Oncology

Radiation Oncology

Elective Number: 1619 (lottery)

Rotation Supervisor: Dr. Tim Showalter, (434)-982-6278, tns3b@virginia.edu

Coordinator: Rebekah McComb, 2nd floor Hospital West Room 2928, (434) 243-3739, rm5dg@virginia.edu

Duration: Maximum 4 weeks, Minimum 2 weeks

Available: Rotations 1-5 (for students interested in Rad/Onc) Rotations 6-13 (any 4th year)

Student should report to: Dr. Showalter

Time to Report: 8:00 am

Place to Report: Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center - Radiation Oncology Clinic

Typical day: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Attendance: Attendance at elective activities is mandatory.

  • Anyone who is ill or has a personal or family emergency must contact Student Affairs and the Attending on Service.
  • Students are allowed to take off up to 1 day per week to interview between November 1 and February 1.
    • Specific days missed must be approved by the Attending on Service.

Number of students per rotation: 2 students (rotations 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 11, 12 & 13a) & 1 student (rotations 5-9)

Course Description: During the radiation oncology elective rotation, medical students will have the opportunity to work closely with faculty members and resident physicians and to participate in clinical and academic activities. This elective rotation is appropriate both for students interested in applying for radiation oncology residency and for students who plan a career in a different specialty but would like to have an educational experience in radiation oncology. Potential radiation oncology residency applicants will be expected to deliver a brief educational or research presentation during a departmental conference, but other students will not be asked to present.

Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this elective, students should be able to:
1. Understand and become familiar with various roles therapeutic radiation plays in the management of malignant diseases and benign conditions,
2. Understand and become familiar with the steps involved in radiation therapy application [e/g initial evaluation, decision making, simulation, treatment planning and administration, potential acute and long term adverse effects –diagnosis and management, evaluations while on radiation treatment, follow up after treatment is completed],
3. Become familiar with multidisciplinary management of various types of cancer and the role of radiotherapy in this context.

Learning Experiences: Students will be assigned to different attending/resident teams each day, in order to gain exposure to the evaluation and treatment of patients with various types of cancer. The student will also attend tumor boards, didactic sessions, and departmental conferences. Students will observe procedures including brachytherapy and radiosurgery. There are no overnight or weekend call responsibilities. Medical students will be assigned to attending/resident teams at the start of each week.

Feedback: Continuous on an informal, daily basis, and then summative evaluation at the end of the rotation.

Assessment Methods: Students will be observed directly by the attending physicians and residents with whom they are assigned. Students planning to apply for radiation oncology residency will also present a 30 minute talk on a topic of their choice, and this will be included in their evaluation.

Grading: A formal written evaluation of each student will be prepared by the Course Director based upon observation and input from faculty and residents. Attendance and participation will be noted. This will be submitted to the Student Affairs office per standard protocol. Visiting students from other institutions may have evaluation forms from their home school, and these forms will be used as appropriate. The UVA grading school for the rotation is on the Pass/Fail system.

First Day Reporting: Please contact Ms. Rebekah McComb with any questions. In most instances, the rotation will start on a Monday. If the first day of the rotation is on a Monday, students should report at 8:00 AM to the Sim Conference room on the Ground floor of the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center. This is on the North side of the building. Simulation conference will occur from 8-9 AM, and then the students will meet briefly with the Course Director and residents for orientation and assignment to an attending/resident team that day.