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A 20-Year History of the First Accredited Physics Residency Program: Lessons Learned

E Klein

E Klein*, Washington University, Saint Louis, MO

SU-E-E-1 Sunday 3:00PM - 6:00PM Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose: When the AAPM released Report Number 36 (superseded by Report 90), Guidelines for Physics Residency Programs, our institution created one in Radiation Oncology. This report summarizes our 20 year history.

Methods: In 1993, our institution formalized our training approach and established Radiation Oncology Physics Residencies. In 1997, the program became the first accredited by CAMPEP. The program was re-accredited in 2003, 2008, and 2013 (pending). Over time we have tried to improve our program and modernize as technologies advance. We have tracked administrative aspects, particularly, the success of our graduates in terms of employment and board certification, and backgrounds of our applicants.

Results: For the 43 individuals that have entered our program, 14 had been post-doctoral fellows, 14 had graduated non-CAMPEP programs, 11 graduated from CAMPEP accredited programs, and 4 had established careers. Thirty-three physicists have graduated (26 PhD, 7 MS), 3 failed to complete the program, and one departed due to medical issues. Of the graduates, 25 are at academic facilities and 8 are in non-academic practice. All but one graduate that has taken the ABR/ABMP exam, written and oral, have passed at every stage on their 1st attempt. Over the past 5 years, there have been 777 applicants for the position(s) that were available. Of these, 58% have been newly graduating physicists with a minority (18% of total applicants) graduating from CAMPEP-accredited programs. Some changes we have made over the years have been to establish more customized and advanced rotations (i.e. IMRT, IGRT, protons, ViewRay), and to increase testing frequency.

Conclusions: The majority of applicants have come from non-CAMPEP accredited graduate programs, while we have primarily accepted and graduated applicants with post doctoral backgrounds. Our program is sufficiently dynamic to adapt to technological advancements and undergo continuous improvement.

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