1995 survey of physics teaching efforts in radiation oncology residency programs

Eric E. Klein, Bruce Gerbi, Jerome Meli, David Marsden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A physics teaching survey was constructed and sent to the 83 radiation oncologist training programs. The survey requested program information regarding size, staffing, curriculum, lab/rotation programs, organization, requirements, instructor makeup, teaching materials, and board certification examination results. The surveys were sent to the physicist responsible for the physics program. Forty-nine (59%) institutions returned completed surveys, of which 43 (88%) were university-associated programs, and 27 (55%) were 4-year programs. On average, there were two residents/year. Most programs (39) taught physics exclusively during the first year (PG2). Some programs taught different subjects (or levels) to different year residents. Radiation dosimetry, treatment planning, and brachytherapy constituted nearly half of the teaching hours. On average the total classroom time expended by physicists was 61.4 h/year with a range of 24-118 h. The mean for laboratory/demonstration time was 27 h/year with 18 programs providing none. Physics orientation/rotations ranged from 1 to 480 h with a mean of 170 h for a physics rotation taking place in year 2 (PG3). Mandatory attendance was 80% for first-year residents and decreased in later years. Homework was assigned in 76% of the programs, and 65% of the programs were graded. The primary instructors averaged 18.2 years of experience, and the majority were ABR/ABMP certified. Khan's textbook was the most prevalent resource for most subjects. No correlation could be made between teaching hours and ABR physics percentile scoring. The survey results reveal enormous differences in national teaching efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-446
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 1997


  • Physics
  • Radiation oncology
  • Survey
  • Teaching


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