Radiation Oncology

Medical Residency Training Program

Program Years



  • You may apply through the Internal Medicine Program for your preliminary year at the Medical College of Wisconsin or another institution of your choice.
  • If completed at the Medical College of Wisconsin, your PGY-1 year will have special focus on oncologic subspecialties (i.e. gynecologic, head and neck, oncology, radiology).


  • 12 month clinical work in radiation oncology
  • May perform one or more of the non-radiation oncology rotations listed in the PGY-3 year (see PGY-3 section below) depending on rotation schedule.


  • 6 months clinical work in radiation oncology
  • 2 months physics rotation
  • Non-radiation oncology rotations:
    • 1 month surgical pathology
    • 1 month oncologic radiology
    • 1 month adult medical oncology

If your PGY-1 year is done with the Internal Medicine program at MCW, it may be possible to do the radiation and adult medical oncology rotations during the PGY-1 year.



  • 6 months clinical work in radiation oncology
  • 6 months protected research


  • 6 months clinical radiation oncology rotation at the VA Medical Center
  • 3 different 2 month rotations with faculty of choice (may be dependent upon availability)

Additional Information

Required Courses

Radiation Oncology Physics

Major areas for physics research include developing novel technology for image-guided and adaptive radiation therapy, analyzing IGRT data for better treatment strategies, improving 4D/gating methods to manage respiration motion during treatment in thorax, abdomen and breast, integrating dose-response outcome into treatment planning optimization, using functional imaging (MRI and PET) for treatment planning, and developing MRI and CT guided brachytherapy.

Radiation Biology

Laboratory research programs in radiation biology include radiation induced normal tissue damages and the mitigation of these damages, electron spin resonance and radiation chemistry, predictive assays of cellular response and tumor and normal tissue effects of combined drugs with radiation with the focus being on radiation-induced normal tissue injury and the mitigation and treatment of these injuries.


Small lecture series on statistical tools, survival analysis, power calculations, etc. Focus is on clinical trial design and teaching skills for critical evaluation of medical literature.

Special Procedures

A lecture series focusing on the practical aspects of treatment delivery for special procedures including high dose rate (HDR) and low dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy for gynecologic, prostate, and breast cancers and sarcomas, Gamma Knife for brain lesions, and stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for lung, liver, prostate and spine cancers.


Case Conferences

Case conferences are held on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday mornings. Residents are responsible for choosing conference topics, presenting patients, and leading discussions regarding the epidemiology, presentation, workup and treatment of various malignancies. Attending faculty participate as moderators of these discussions.

Tumor Boards

Residents are expected to participate in multidisciplinary tumor boards held at the various sites. The multidisciplinary approach to the tumor boards promotes active discussion of the management of patients currently receiving treatment. Modalities participating in the tumor boards include radiation oncology, medical oncology, surgical oncology, pathology, and radiology. Tumor boards are scheduled on a weekly or biweekly basis.

Grand Rounds

The Radiation Oncology Grand Rounds Research Conference are weekly didactic lectures that focus on reviews of current treatment options of various malignancies and novel research data and concepts as well as topics that focus on radiation biology and physics. These conferences are held weekly from September through June.

Treatment Techniques
  • Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) (CT on rails, MV cone beam CT, TomoTherapy, MVCT)
  • 4/D gating/deep inspiration breath hold
  • Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) with linac and TomoTherapy
  • Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT/VMAT)
  • 3T MR simulations
  • HDR and LDR brachytherapy
  • Total body irradiation
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery with Gamma Knife
  • MR-guided radiotherapy