HROP provides residents with a regular, diverse, and formalized curriculum by which to learn the fundamentals of radiation oncology.
The backbone of medical education at HROP is morning conference. Residents are excused from clinical responsibilities each weekday from 8-9am so that they may attend. Each HROP campus has a unique approach to morning conference, but all morning conferences are led by residents under the guidance of an attending physician(s).
Longwood Campus (Brigham & Women’s Hospital/Children’s Hospital Boston): Conferences consist of case-based literature reviews, journal clubs, and a discussion of patient simulation and treatment planning (“blocks and borders”). Each week is devoted to the discussion of a single disease site.
MGH (Massachusetts General Hospital): Conferences are organized into a “Foundation Series,” a week long conference dedicated to a single disease site that covers the basics of staging, work-up, anatomy, pertinent literature, and simulation and treatment planning.
In addition to morning conference, there are other formal educational conferences held regularly during the year.
Radiation Physics/Radiation Biology: Each week throughout the academic year, residents are provided with lectures on radiation physics and radiation biology taught by leaders in each field. The year-long curriculum is designed to cover fundamental topics within each discipline and is repeated annually in order to reinforce key concepts and provide facility with the material in advance of written board exams. Many of the lectures are interactive, with question and answer sessions built into each talk. At the end of each year, residents are given the opportunity to take mock radiation physics and radiation biology board exams for self-assessment. Additional review sessions are also held each spring for third-year residents preparing for written boards.
Weekly Chart Rounds: This hour-long conference is held weekly in each of HROP’s member Radiation Oncology Departments. Residents are responsible for presenting all new cases for the week including the diagnosis and management of their patients. Attending physicians may ask the resident to discuss relevant case information, including simulation and setup, planned treatment course and fractionation schedule as well as pertinent literature.
Multidisciplinary Subspecialty Tumor Boards: Formal, structured, case-based tumor boards are held weekly for each disease site at most HROP institutions. Multiple disciplines including surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, pathology, and radiology attend and individual cases are reviewed and collectively discussed. Residents on service attend these conferences with their respective attending and may be asked on occasion to present an interesting case of his or her choice.
Morbidity and Mortality Rounds (M&M): At several points during the year, residents are responsible for leading an M&M presentation. Discussion focuses on the initial presentation of the patient, their individual management and treatment, and any resulting morbidity or mortality. All faculty, physicists, support staff and residents attend and discussion emphasizes both quality improvement and the identification of systems-based radiation issues.
Third Year Seminar: In the spring of each academic year, third year residents are invited to give an hour-long talk to the program on the research that they have conducted during their research year. This provides a supportive environment for third year residents to practice their presentation skills while also acquiring useful insights and feedback on their research from faculty and staff.