Residency in Radiation Oncology at Northwell Health
The Department of Radiation Medicine at Northwell Health offers a four-year residency training program in Radiation Oncology.
The mission of our training program is to nurture and inspire the careers of future academic and clinical leaders in Radiation Oncology. The educational goals of our residency program are to meet the objectives outlined in our mission statement and to assure that our graduates excel in patient care, medical knowledge, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, and systems-based practice. It is also our goal to promote professional fluency/mastery in clinical, translational, basic science, public health policy, and/or health economics research through trainee-initiated investigation utilizing the capital resources, faculty expertise, and patient population treated in the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell.
During the first two years of training, residents rotate onto clinical services that represent new clinical experiences with expectations limited to development of core competencies and knowledge base. During the final two years, residents will be expected to round out their skill sets in specific disciplines, and to develop personalized skills for career development in clinical, translational and health policy research.
The curriculum exposes residents to all aspects of clinical and academic radiation oncology, radiation physics and biology. It anticipates incrementally increasing participation and allows for progressive responsibility in patient management for residents. Under the supervision of an attending, residents will be directly responsible for all aspects of patient care, including the following:
- Participation in initial consultation and all subsequent patient clinic visits
- Direct counseling and education of patients and family
- In-hospital care of patients
- Formulation of therapeutic plans
- Radiotherapy treatment planning
- All phases of treatment procedures, including simulations, brachytherapy, intraoperative interventions, radiosurgery, daily and weekly clinical management, pain management, etc.
- Post-treatment surveillance with follow-up/chart checking of all ordered tests and diagnostic procedures.
- Formal presentation of patient information at clinical care or educational conferences.
- Off-hours and weekend holiday call coverage of patient care issues
- All additional direct interfaces with patients and/or allied providers as part of the appropriate process of clinical care for a patient.
Clinical rotations are 10-12 weeks in duration, during which residents work one on one with a supervising attending physician. Clinical rotations expose residents to all cancer disease sites, and the management of benign disease.
The program’s didactic schedule consists of morning conferences, lectures, journal clubs, seminars at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, and several courses such as radiobiology, physics, and research. Each conference and lecture is focused on a disease site. In addition, radiation oncology grand rounds, multidisciplinary conferences, and resident core lecture series provide didactic lectures on palliative care and pathology.
Residents are also encouraged to actively participate in research opportunities offered at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, the research arm of the health system.
The Radiation Medicine Department serves the entire Northwell Health, the 2nd largest secular non-profit medical system in the United States, and the largest medical system of any type in the Northeast. The Health System spans 15 hospitals in 4 New York City boroughs and both Nassau and Suffolk Counties, serving a potential population of more than 17 million people. The majority of Departmental functions are centralized at our new facility in the Center for Advanced Medicine in Lake Success, NY, opposite the LIJ Hospital campus. The Department is an integral part of the new Hofstra-NSLIJ School of Medicine and functions seamlessly within clinics located in the 2 tertiary referral hospitals of the Health System, Long Island Jewish Hospital and North Shore University Hospital.
The Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine (now the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell) was established in the summer of 2010 as the first new school of allopathic medicine in New York State in over 30 years, and the first located in Nassau County.
The Long Island Jewish Medical Center shares the title of clinical and academic hub of the Northwell Health. It is an 829-bed voluntary, non-profit tertiary care teaching hospital serving the greater metropolitan New York area. Three divisions comprise LIJ: Long Island Jewish Hospital, Cohen Children’s Hospital and the Zucker Hillside Hospital for behavioral health care.
The North Shore University Hospital is one the cornerstones of the health system. The hospital has 788 beds and a staff of 2700 specialist and subspecialist physicians. The full-time staff includes more than 400 physicians and dentists. House staff totals over 350 residents and fellows in programs accredited by the ACGME, CODA and independent programs.
The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research is the research branch of the Northwell Health. Institute scientists collaborate with clinicians throughout the health system to shed light on basic biological processes underlying disease. More than 800 scientists and investigators conduct research in oncology, immunology and inflammation, genetics, psychiatry, neurology, pediatrics, surgery, urology, obstetrics/gynecology and many other specialties.
The faculty, as a whole, has a strong interest in the education of residents and supports the goals and objective of the educational program. Moreover, all members of the faculty devote significant time to the educational program to fulfill their supervisory and teaching responsibilities.
Each faculty member is highly involved in clinical discussions, chart rounds, journal clubs, and research conferences to promote a spirit of inquiry and scholarship, including offering mentorship and guidance in research projects.
The Department of Radiation Medicine consists of 15 full-time physician faculty, who are dedicated to didactic teaching and to the program for the teaching of clinical radiation oncology. The Chairman of the Department is Louis Potters, MD. Rajiv Sharma, MD is the Program Director.
There are 5 full-time Medical Physicists in the Department, headed by Chief Physicist, Abolghassem Jamshidi, PhD. They are on-site and involved in the teaching of Medical Physics. They are in charge of the Medical Physics course which is offered every other year.
Dr. Ruggieri’s role is to mentor and instruct our residents throughout their training in cancer biology with an emphasis on their research year. The radiobiology didactic course is taught separately by Barry Rosenstein, PhD.
Over the last several years, the Department of Radiation Medicine has significantly expanded its clinical trials program, and participates in the NCI-Sponsored Cooperative groups: RTOG, GOG, COG, Wake Forest and NSABP. In addition, attending physician investigators have opened their own investigator initiated trials, focusing on head and neck as well as prostate cancer. Recently, the first pharmaceutical trial opened in the department. There is a full-time Research Nurse Coordinator on staff, who is supported by data management and regulatory staff. Research opportunities also exist with the research branch of Northwell Health, the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research.
In support of research, staffing and clinical additions have been made in the past three years. The department opened three investigator initiated trials. This center is focused on the multidisciplinary care needed for patients with head and neck cancer. A clinic was started in 2010 in which patients are seen by all required discliplines. Radiation Medicine, Head and Neck Surgery, Medical Oncology, Research and Speech Pathology can formulate a plan of care immediately instead of the patient having to wait for separate appointments. This not only expedites care, but it decreased stress for the patient. Clinics are in the planning process for both prostate and breast cancers. Dr. Jonathan Knisely also joined the department as the Co-Director of the Northwell Health Center for Radiosurgery. He will expand the radiosurgery program by utilizing his expertise in clinical care and research.
All staff physicians participate in a monthly journal club and continue to look for opportunities for continuing education. Two department sponsored symposiums were held in 2011: The First Annual Meeting of the NSLIJ Center for Radiosurgery: Update on Stereotactic Radiosurgery and Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy, and the Quality of Life for the Cancer Patient: Pain Management, Palliation and End of Life Care
Applicants interested in the radiation medicine training program at Northwell Health should apply through the electronic residency application service (ERAS), which opens on September 15.
Essential application information includes:
- Curriculum Vitae
- USMLE or COMLEX transcript
- Medical school transcript
- A personal statement
- Three (3) letters of recommendation
- ECFMG Status Report, if applicable
- Wallet-sized color photograph
Applicants, who successfully match, must complete a year of post-graduate clinical training in fields such as medicine, family practice, surgery, pediatrics or a transitional year in an ACGME-accredited program prior to beginning residency in Radiation Oncology.