ABOUT THE PROGRAM
The UC San Diego Radiation Oncology residency program is a 4-year residency designed to surpass the basic standards laid out by the ACGME by providing exceptional training in clinical patient care, radiation oncology procedures, radiation therapy technology, radiobiology, physics and clinical research.
Currently approved for a total of 12 residents (3 per year), our program offers residents outstanding faculty mentorship, state-of-the-art facilities and substantial numbers of patients and procedures so that each of them can excel in their training.
These features include a weekly joint clinical case conference with our physics residents during which the radiation oncology resident presents the clinical aspects of a patient's case and the physics resident discusses technical aspects of treatment with an emphasis on immobilization techniques, field-design and treatment modalities. New in 2015, we also have developed an interactive dosimetry course that involves a competition to plan a case, based on the disease month, and practice the application of radiation dose and manipulation to create an acceptable plan. These courses are in addition to a high yield standard physics curriculum that covers basic concepts. Visit our didactics page for details on our educational curriculum. Another unique feature is an international elective during the PGY5 year that allows residents to spend a month doing clinical radiation oncology at a location of their choice. We encourage them to make this an international elective to a developing country for a unique experience and perspective on radiation therapy.
During the four-year residency we offer 36 months of clinical training and a full year of research. Residents rotate mainly on the clinical services at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center in La Jolla, but during the PGY5 year they rotate at one of the satellite clinics in either Chula Vista or Encinitas.
The following is an excerpt from our Program Manual describing the UC System, UC San Diego as an institution and medical school as well as the UC San Diego Health and affiliated institutions. For more information take a look at our Residency Manual and Department Overview.
University of California (UC) System
The University of California (UC) was chartered in 1868. The UC system as a whole consists of over 7,000 faculty members, 160,000 students and employs approximately 121,000 faculty, staff and academics statewide.
The UC system currently comprises 10 separate campuses: Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz.
In addition, UC is affiliated with the Lawrence Livermore and Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories and the Los Alamos Facility. Each campus boasts a unique environment, and a variety of achievements, honors and academic disciplines.
There are six medical centers in the UC system: Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego and San Francisco. The six UC medical centers support the clinical teaching programs of the medical and health sciences schools and receive more than 138,000 inpatient discharges, 261,000 emergency room visits and more than 3.6 million outpatient visits per year. Collectively, these centers make up one of the largest health care systems in California.
University of California San Diego (UC San Diego)
UC San Diego occupies 1200 acres along the Pacific coast in La Jolla, California. One of the premier campuses of the UC system, UC San Diego is also one of the youngest (founded in 1960). The first graduate student was admitted in 1960 and the first undergraduate in 1964.
UC San Diego is unique among all the UC schools in that it is based on a residential college system along the lines of Oxford and Cambridge. Currently, there are six separate colleges, each with its own focus and its own administration. The college system provides a smaller “home” community for students, with close interactions between students and faculty.
In its short history, a total of 17 UC San Diego faculty members have been awarded Nobel Prizes, including Roger Tsien, PhD, 2008 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry. Of note, three Nobel Prizes were in Physiology & Medicine: George Palade (1974), Renata Dulbecco (1975) and Sydney Brenner (2002). The UC San Diego annual research funding currently exceeds $700 million.
UC San Diego School of Medicine
The UC San Diego School of Medicine was founded in 1968, drawing its faculty from the existing basic science departments of the University rather than re-creating such departments.
Today, this unique relationship continues, with faculty drawn from throughout the University and from the 14 School of Medicine departments.
The Vice Chancellor and Dean of the School of Medicine is David Brenner, MD.
The School of Medicine currently enrolls approximately 120 students per year and is consistently ranked among the top American medical schools by U.S. News World Report.
Despite its short history, the UC San Diego School of Medicine is also consistently ranked among the Top 15 research medical schools in the country and the Top 15 NIH-funded medical schools.
UC San Diego Health
The UC San Diego Health comprises several hospitals in both La Jolla and Hillcrest. The La Jolla campus consists of Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center, Shiley Eye Institute, Moores Cancer Center and the Jacobs Medical Center.
The UC San Diego Department of Radiation Oncology operates 4 treatment centers in the San Diego region: La Jolla, Encinitas, 4S Ranch and Chula Vista.
The La Jolla Center is divided into two parts: the West Facility is located within the Cancer Center itself and the East Facility is adjacent to the Cancer Center. Patients are seen and treated in both facilities. The West Facility contains 2 linear accelerators, 1 CT-simulator, 3T MRI and a HDR Brachytherapy suite. The East Facility contains 2 linear accelerators and 1 PET-CT scanner. Office and clinic space are present in both facilities. Occupying approximately 31,000 square feet, the La Jolla Facility is the primary treatment and administrative center of the Department.
North County (Encinitas, 4S Ranch)
The Encinitas facility is 15,000 sq feet and the 4S Ranch facility is 8,500 sq feet.
South County (Eastlake)
The South Bay facility occupies 12745 sq feet.
Kaiser Permanente is one of the largest comprehensive health care providers in San Diego County, and UC San Diego Radiation Oncology provides exclusive radiation therapy services to its patients at our three facilities. With over 1,400 new patient consults per year, including substantial numbers of breast and prostate cancer patients, Kaiser provides our residents with substantial experience in these and other disease areas.
Department equipment includes 6 linear accelerators with multiple electron beam capabilities, 3 CT-simulators, and 1 high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy suite. All 6 linear accelerators are equipped with multi-leaf collimators (MLC) and on-board imaging (OBI) capabilities.
At the La Jolla Center, in collaboration with the Department of Radiology, a 3T MRI and a PET-CT are equipped for simulation and are located with the Radiation Oncology Department, in the West and East Facilities, respectively. These units are also used for diagnostic imaging.
Treatment planning software is available for 3-D conformal radiation therapy (3DCRT) and intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) at both treatment centers.
Facilities are available for the fabrication of treatment aids and, in La Jolla, for performing intracavitary and interstitial brachytherapy. Stereotactic radiosurgery (using a modified linear accelerator) is performed at the Moores Cancer Center.