Education

Our educational opportunities include residency programs in radiation oncology and medical physics, certificate programs in radiation therapy and medical dosimetry, and graduate and postdoctoral training in physics, computer science, biomedical engineering and cancer biology.

Our departmental educators enjoy national reputations for teaching excellence for training the next generation of physicians, scientists, radiation therapists and medical dosimetrists.

Radiation Oncology Residency Training Program

The Radiation Oncology Residency Training Program at the University of North Carolina is committed to providing its residents with comprehensive training in the fundamental principles of oncology and cancer management, compassionate patient care, clinical radiation oncology, critical thinking and research.  The program offers a didactic education in radiation therapy physics and dosimetry, treatment planning, and radiation and cancer biology provided by research and teaching faculty, along with close, mentoring relationships with clinical faculty members in which a multidisciplinary approach to state-of-the-art clinical management of cancer patients and translational research are especially emphasized.

Residency Program Applicants
Please refer to the radiation oncology residency training program information pages using the links below:

Medical Physics Residency Training Program

Residency training in medical physics at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine has begun!  In 2010 we accepted our first student and plan to accept one student per year thereafter.

Residency Program Applicants
Please refer to the medical physics residency training program information pages using the links below:

UNC Hospitals Schools of Radiation Therapy and Medical Dosimetry

The clinical specialty of radiation oncology is a multi-disciplinary field requiring a cooperative effort between radiation oncologists, medical physicists, radiation therapists, dosimetrists and oncology nurses.

Radiation therapists are integral members of the patient treatment team, whose duties include patient positioning during simulated and actual radiation treatments, the handling of radioactive materials, the recording and verification of doses, the fabrication of special radiation shields, filters and immobilization devices, and the monitoring of patients' general medical condition based on a knowledge of basic nursing care and the nature of radiation-induced side effects.  In addition, close interpersonal relationships that often develop between patients and their therapists demand that the therapist also be a sympathetic caregiver and patient advocate.

The medical dosimetrist also plays an important role as a member of the cancer treatment team by specializing in the calculation of the radiation dose given to patients, and the planning of optimal treatment techniques using sophisticated computer hardware and software.  As such, the medical dosimetrist must be able to apply the knowledge and skills of mathematics, medical physics, computer science, clinical oncology and cancer and radiation biology on a daily basis.

UNC Hospitals offers two, one year post-radiologic technology certificate programs in radiation therapy and medical dosimetry. Candidates for the radiation therapy program must have already completed, or are about to complete, training in radiography.  Candidates for the medical dosimetry program must have a bachelor's degree and already completed training in radiation therapy.  The programs are sponsored and supported by the UNC School of Medicine's Department of Radiation Oncology and UNC Healthcare.  Students in these programs receive clinical training in both existing and emerging radiation therapy practices and procedures, including treatment planning (2-, 2.5- and 3-dimensional planning, plus IMRT and IGRT), simulation, quality assurance, high and low dose rate brachytherapy, external beam therapy, stereotactic and CyberKnife® radiosurgery, intraoperative radiation therapy, TomoTherapy® and total body irradiation.

Students also can take advantage of innovative research opportunities with faculty experts in areas as diverse as radiologic technology education, patient safety, workplace efficiency, quality assurance, treatment planning and healthcare outcomes.  Past program graduates have published their research in peer-reviewed, international journals.

The Department of Radiation Oncology occupies over 36,000 square feet of clinical, physics, computing, classroom and laboratory research space.  The Department treats over 1,000 patients per year, and is an integral part of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of only 36 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the United States.  The Department also has active research programs in clinical oncology, radiation and cancer biology, and medical physics, and is an acknowledged world leader in the area of computer-aided radiotherapy treatment planning.

More details, prerequisites, and application deadlines for our certificate programs are described by following the program-specific links below.

The Radiation Therapy Program, accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) since 1969, is designed to prepare men and women for professional practice as radiation therapists in the healthcare specialty of radiation oncology.  Upon completion of the one year program, graduates are eligible for national certification by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) in radiation therapy.

The next deadline for application to the Radiation Therapy Program is January 30, 2015.

The Medical Dosimetry Program, accredited by the JRCERT since 2003 and the first fully-accredited program nationally, is designed to prepare men and women for professional practice as medical dosimetrists in the healthcare specialty of radiation oncology.  Graduates of the one year program are eligible for national certification by the Medical Dosimetry Certification Board (MDCB).

The next deadline for application to the Medical Dosimetry Program is March 1, 2015.

Graduate and Postdoctoral Programs

Although the Department of Radiation Oncology is not degree-granting per se, the close ties between our faculty members and those from other departments, programs and curricula within the School of Medicine, the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the Departments of Physics and Astronomy, Computer Science and Biomedical Engineering have given us access to top-quality graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.  There are also opportunities for both undergraduate and medical students to complete research rotations in the Department.  Please contact the appropriate faculty member for additional information.