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The mission of the educational program is to train leaders in radiation oncology. The program is centered on satisfying each of the core competencies as outlined by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) focusing on patient care; medical knowledge; practice-based learning and improvement; interpersonal and communication skills; professionalism; and systems-based practice. Through rigorous hands-on instruction, apprenticeship-like teaching, formal didactic instruction, and mentored research, the program aims to provide trainees with the necessary foundation and confidence for a career of lifelong learning and evidence-based patient care. Resident training is conducted in accord with the overall Departmental mission to practice the patient-centered care treatment paradigm; to innovate and lead in the development of multidisciplinary models; to sustain growth in academic programs and strengthen community partnerships; to innovate, develop, and translate new treatments and cures for cancer; and to foster leadership development in the field of radiation oncology.

As part of the NCI-accredited UCI Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Department provides the residents an ideal training atmosphere for multi-disciplinary cancer care and research. The breadth and scope of the patient volume at UCI offers a dynamic environment for clinical training, with patients coming from all walks of life and of varying backgrounds. Residents are assigned to two-month site-specific clinical rotations practicing under the supervision of attending physicians during the course of training. Although training occurs largely in a supervised format, residents gain progressively increasing responsibility and are furnished opportunities to refine their skills in evidence-based thinking and independent decision-making. It is expected that residents work alongside patients and their families in a compassionate manner and to conduct themselves with the highest level of professionalism at all times. Residents also develop tools under the mentorship of faculty to engage in appraisal of learning methods, assessment of clinical performance, and continual self-evaluation so that practice-based learning can be optimized.

One-on-one teaching is emphasized and opportunities to provide feedback and shape their education are abundant. Residents are an essential component of the practice team and work closely with ancillary staff and referring physicians to optimize care. Residents also obtain essential, practical training in an intensive dosimetry and treatment planning rotation at the beginning of the PGY-3 year. Dedicated research is undertaken during the PGY-4 year with 6 to 12 months available for scholarly activity. Formal experience with brachytherapy and theranostics/radionuclides, two of the nation’s most active in terms of clinical volume and research are provided. Residents also rotate at the Long Beach Veterans Administration Hospital and at the California Proton Therapy Center in San Diego where up to 2,400 patients a year are treated. Available elective rotations include diagnostic radiology, pathology, medical oncology, and surgical oncology.

Each of our faculty is devoted to creating a vibrant environment for learning, one characterized by collegiality and mutual respect. The didactic curriculum has been carefully designed with the goal of creating a balance between resident self-thinking and mentored teaching. In addition, residents actively participate in numerous patient care-related conferences including chart rounds, quality assurance meetings, multidisciplinary tumor boards, and educational workshops, all of which occur on a frequent basis. Residents are increasingly challenged to think critically and innovatively and to devise solutions for complex patient cases under the supervision of faculty.

Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced 3 Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation, and anteater mascot. The University has more than 36,000 students and offers 222 degree programs. Ranked as one of the top 50 U.S. medical schools for research by U.S. News & World Report, the UCI School of Medicine is dedicated to advancing medical knowledge and clinical practice through scholarly research, physician education and high-quality care. Each year, the school educates more than 400 medical students and trains more than 700 residents and fellows at UC Irvine Medical Center and affiliated institutions. The school has 26 departments, ranging from basic science research to clinical-medical and surgical specialties.