Radiation Oncology

Radiation oncology is a medical specialty that focuses on treating oncology patients with radiation. Both pediatric and adult patients are treated in the practice of radiation oncology.

The majority of these patients have a malignancy, which may be involving any site or organ system. A limited number of patients are treated for benign conditions. The typical practice setting is a hospital-based community or academic practice. External beam therapy with either a photon beam or an electron beam, focused on the site of the tumor, is most commonly utilized. Brachytherapy (or implanting a radioactive source directly in the tumor) is also employed in a smaller portion of patients.

Residency Training

  • Duration of training: Five years (internship plus 4 years).
  • Number of programs nationally: 91 programs (2020)
  • Number of entering residency positions per year: 189 (for PGY2 in 2020)
  • Types of fellowships or subspecialties: Several fellowships and no subspecialties. There are no board certifications for completing a fellowship.
  • Type of Match: Regular.
  • Overall competitiveness: 
  • This has historically been a difficult match for the "average" student, but has become less competitive over the last several matching cycles.

Primary Faculty Contact for M1's and M2's

Clerkship Program Director: Dr. Michelle Kim 

Clerkship Program Coordinator: Samantha Harbarcuk

Medical Student Club or Interest Group

Radiation Oncology Student Interest Group: Neil Vaishampayan neilvee@med.umich.edu

(Facilitators: 1-2 medical students each academic year)
(Advisors: Chief Residents each academic year)

2021-22 Chief Residents, Liz Jaworski, Matt Cousins, Sam Birer

Shadowing or Mentoring Experiences Available to M1's or M2's

Clerkship Program Director: Dr. Michelle Kim

Clerkship Program Coordinator: Samantha Harbarcuk


Suggested Journals, Books & Information for Interested StudentsInternational Journal on Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics

  • Journal of Clinical Oncology
  • Cancer Principles and Practice of Oncology, DeVita, Lawrence, Rosenberg (eds)
  • Gunderson and Tepper’s Clinical Radiation Oncology (5th ed)
  • Principles and Practice of Radiation Oncology, Perez and Brady (eds).
  • Essentials of Clinical Radiation Oncology (2nd Ed), Sarah M.C. Sittenfeld, Matthew C. Ward, Rahul D. Tendulkar, Gregory M. M. Videtic
  • Handbook of Evidence-Based Radiation Oncology [Paperback] (3rd Ed),
  • Eric K. Hansen and Mack Roach III, Springer Publishing