Medical Physics Residency
The Toronto Residency Program in Radiation Oncology Physics is a two-year practical training program which will prepare you for a career as a medical physicist working in a radiation oncology program, typically at a Cancer Centre or hospital.
Medical Radiation Physics:
- applies the knowledge and principles of physics to the practice of radiation treatment of cancer
- deals with the interaction of ionizing radiation with biological tissues, distribution of ionizing energy within tissues, and the resulting radiobiological and clinical effects
The program operates at 4 clinical sites:
- Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) in downtown Toronto
- Odette Cancer Centre (OCC) in north Toronto
- Durham Cancer Centre in Oshawa
- Stronach Regional Cancer Centre in Newmarket
- Peel Regional Cancer Centre in Mississauga
The residency program consists of:
- didactic instruction
- rotations through clinical duties under the supervision of a staff medical physicist, radiation therapist or radiation oncologist
- a research project in clinical physics under the direction of a staff medical physicist
The first year of the program includes:
- classroom instruction in Radiation Biology, Radiation Safety, Radiation Physics and Dosimetry, and the Principles of Treatment Planning
- clinical rotations in Instrumentation, Treatment Planning and Quality Management.
The second year includes:
- didactic sessions on Applied Physics and Clinical Oncology
- Rotations in Brachytherapy, Imaging Physics and Inter-Disciplinary practice.
On the job
Medical Radiation Physicists are involved in all aspects of the complex process of radiation therapy, including but not limited to:
- design and maintenance of equipment for radiation generation and delivery
- selection of optimum treatment parameters
- calculation of physical and radiobiological dose distributions
- imaging verification of dose delivery
- measurement of background radiation levels
Radiation Physicists are also involved in teaching and research. The latter may involve developmental work directly related to the daily practice of radiotherapy, or may be wider in scope to encompass other applications of physical sciences in medical oncology practice.
You will work and learn from all three professions directly involved in radiation oncology – radiation oncologists, radiation therapists and medical physicists.
The goal of the program is to train future leaders in medical physics who will:
- have a fundamental knowledge of the disciplines of radiation oncology and radiation therapy
- recognize, understand and address scientific and technical problems relevant to the practice of radiation oncology physics
Support and Resources
The program draws upon the resources of the largest academic radiation oncology program in Canada. The residents will work in an environment where critical thinking is emphasized and where the results of research are communicated freely and incorporated rapidly into treatment protocols.
Each resident has a medical physicist advisor to guide them and monitor their progress through the program.
Examination and Accreditation
The educational background of Medical Radiation Physicists varies, and typically includes undergraduate and graduate degrees in physics or engineering, followed by a two-year clinical residency training program.
An oral examination is held after the first year and at the conclusion of the program.
The program has full accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs (CAMPEP).
To learn more please review the Physics Residency Manual.
- For more information about the profession of Medical Physics in Canada see the website of the Canadian Organization of Medical Physicists (COMP) www.medphys.ca.
- Many clinical sites in Ontario offer residency training in medical physics. For more information about these sites visit Cancer Care Ontario and look under related resources of the Radiation Treatment Program.