The American society for radiation oncology's 2015 core physics curriculum for radiation oncology residents

Jay Burmeister, Zhe Chen, Indrin J. Chetty, Sonja Dieterich, Anthony Doemer, Michael M. Dominello, Rebecca M. Howell, Patrick McDermott, Adrian Nalichowski, Joann Prisciandaro, Tim Ritter, Chadd Smith, Eric Schreiber, Timothy Shafman, Steven Sutlief, Ying Xiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Purpose The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Physics Core Curriculum Subcommittee (PCCSC) has updated the recommended physics curriculum for radiation oncology resident education to improve consistency in teaching, intensity, and subject matter. Methods and Materials The ASTRO PCCSC is composed of physicists and physicians involved in radiation oncology residency education. The PCCSC updated existing sections within the curriculum, created new sections, and attempted to provide additional clinical context to the curricular material through creation of practical clinical experiences. Finally, we reviewed the American Board of Radiology (ABR) blueprint of examination topics for correlation with this curriculum. Results The new curriculum represents 56 hours of resident physics didactic education, including a 4-hour initial orientation. The committee recommends completion of this curriculum at least twice to assure both timely presentation of material and re-emphasis after clinical experience. In addition, practical clinical physics and treatment planning modules were created as a supplement to the didactic training. Major changes to the curriculum include addition of Fundamental Physics, Stereotactic Radiosurgery/Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy, and Safety and Incidents sections, and elimination of the Radiopharmaceutical Physics and Dosimetry and Hyperthermia sections. Simulation and Treatment Verification and optional Research and Development in Radiation Oncology sections were also added. A feedback loop was established with the ABR to help assure that the physics component of the ABR radiation oncology initial certification examination remains consistent with this curriculum. Conclusions The ASTRO physics core curriculum for radiation oncology residents has been updated in an effort to identify the most important physics topics for preparing residents for careers in radiation oncology, to reflect changes in technology and practice since the publication of previous recommended curricula, and to provide practical training modules in clinical radiation oncology physics and treatment planning. The PCCSC is committed to keeping the curriculum current and consistent with the ABR examination blueprint.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1298-1303
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 15 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research

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    Burmeister, J., Chen, Z., Chetty, I. J., Dieterich, S., Doemer, A., Dominello, M. M., Howell, R. M., McDermott, P., Nalichowski, A., Prisciandaro, J., Ritter, T., Smith, C., Schreiber, E., Shafman, T., Sutlief, S., & Xiao, Y. (2016). The American society for radiation oncology's 2015 core physics curriculum for radiation oncology residents. International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics, 95(4), 1298-1303.