Department of Physics

East Hall, 2 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 02881


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PHY 555: Radiation Oncology Clinical Practicum

Course Information

Instructor:RIH/Physics Department

Contact person in Physics Department:Dr Michael Antosh
Semester: Fall
Credits: 4(Lec.3 and Practicum1)
Prerequisites: PHY550 or permission number

Catalog Description:Provide the student a base knowledge and overview of medical physics in the environment of a modern radiation oncology clinical practice, opportunities for practical clinical training as a Medical Physicist, and a familiarity with the roles and practices of the clinical team tasked with the treatment of cancer patients.

Course Goals & Outcomes

Upon completion students are expected:

  • To describe and explain the clinical responsibilities of the radiation oncology physicist;
  • To describe and explain the design principles and characteristics of radiation measurement systems;
  • To explain and report the tasks necessary to accept and commission a linear accelerator
  • To describe the main principles of electronic brachytherapy, gammaknife and cybernife operation and demonstrate practical use of them;
  • To define the radiotherapy treatment planning process;
  • To describe the operation and management of radiotherapy special procedures equipment;
  • To describe role of medical physicist in hospital setting.

Course Description

This course will include lectures and clinical participation. Students will participate in routine clinical medical physics activities weekly. These will include hands-on experience with therapy systems, analysis of measurements, familiarization with the clinical responsibilities of a Medical Physicist, and understanding the safety protocols related to using radiation therapy sytems. Attendance will be expected both during and after normal clinical hours. Specific clinically-related tasks will be assigned to students, which they will perform under the direction of the course instructor and clinical staff members.  Each week students will spend 3 hours of lecture time and 2 hours of practicum time. Practicum will consist  equipment demonstration and clinical procedure presentation as well as directed shadowing experience to be held during clinical hours

Topics covered in this course include:

  • “Bedside Manner” for the practicing Medical Physicist
  • Role of the Medical, Surgical and Radiation Oncologist. Role of a Dosimetrist and Therapist
  • Role of a Radiation Safety Officer in Radiation Oncology. Role of a Radiation Oncology Administrator, Friend or Foe?
  • Introduction of Radiotherapy Equipment
  • The Modern Radiotherapy Linear Accelerator I. The Modern Radiotherapy Linear Accelerator II
  • Onboard Imaging Systems for Linear Accelerators
  • Application of Imaging Modalities in the Clinic.
  • The GammaKnife and CyberKnife Radiotherapy Systems
  • Ancillary Clinical Systems . Overview of External Beam
  • Radiation Therapy; Treatment, Planning and Delivery
  • Overview of Clinical Brachytherapy I
  • Overview of Clinical Treatment Planning Systems.
  • Commissioning of Clinical Systems and Development of a Quality Assurance Program
  • Best Practices for Acquiring Beam Data.
  • Applying LEAN Concepts to Radiation Oncology Quality Assurance. Research Funding for Medical Physicists

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