Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit and Windsor Regional Hospital in Windsor announce the first accredited trans-border medical physics residency program

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Source: Karmanos Cancer Institute


DETROIT, Jan. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute based in Detroit, Mich., and the Windsor Regional Hospital Cancer Program in Windsor, Ont., have partnered to create the first accredited trans-border Medical Physics Residency Program. This Medical Physics Residency Program recently received full endorsement from the prestigious Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs, Inc. (CAMPEP). Karmanos Cancer Institute will lead the program, working collaboratively with the radiation oncology teams at Windsor Regional Cancer Centre (WRCC) and also the Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Macomb, Ted B. Wahby Cancer Center, in Mt. Clemens, Mich.

Accreditation received is for the maximum period of five years. Applicants will compete for these two-year positions which provide clinical training in radiation oncology physics. While the profession of Medical Physics spans clinical service in radiation therapy, diagnostic therapy and nuclear medicine, this Medical Physics Residency Program will offer clinical training programs specific to radiation therapy.

Karmanos Cancer Institute, a world-renown National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, has offered exceptional Medical Physics Residency training since 2007; and WRCC and the Wahby Cancer Center have also operated individual training programs for many years. This newly formed joint program was an effort to further improve opportunities for radiation oncology physics trainees.

Karmanos has evaluated hundreds of applicants for medical physics residency positions in this highly competitive program. When the opportunity came to expand Karmanos' program working with affiliate locations, Jay Burmeister, Ph.D., DABR, FAAPM, Chief of Physics at Karmanos Cancer Institute, and professor in the Department of Oncology at Wayne State University School of Medicine, felt it would fill a growing need. This extensive educational and clinical training program now involves cancer centers in Windsor, led by Jeff Richer, MS, MCCPM; in Mount Clemens, led by Mark Yudelev, Ph.D., DABMP, FAAPM; as well as in Detroit, led by Dr. Burmeister. Collectively, these talented scientists have more than 70 years of clinical experience and over 50 years of student and resident training experience.    

"This was an opportunity to further enhance Karmanos' already successful program, benefitting both the trainees involved in these programs, as well as the clinical staff at each institution," said Dr. Burmeister. "Most importantly, this benefits patients – not only the patients at each of these locations who are direct recipients of this additional clinical care today, but also patients at facilities where our trainees will someday practice. This program represents a significant investment into the future of radiation oncology."

Major professional organizations in radiation oncology such as the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) and the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) have long recognized the severe shortage of clinical training programs for medical physicists. The number of accredited residency spots in medical physics remains significantly lower than the clinical demand. In addition, since eligibility for medical physics certification by the American Board of Radiology (ABR) is contingent upon graduation from a CAMPEP-accredited residency program, these programs have become highly sought after.

"We are thrilled to partner with Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute on this innovative International program," said Richer of WRCC. "Prospective physics residents will have the opportunity to not only be trained on a wide spectrum of radiation treatment technologies, but will also gain valuable insight into both Canadian and American healthcare systems."

Entrance into these residency programs requires graduate training in medical physics. Each of the site program leaders received their medical physics training at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, which operates one of the most prestigious medical physics graduate programs in North America. To learn more about education and training in Medical Physics, visit the Medical Physics program website. 

"Highly qualified and capable individuals want to work at institutions that value their contributions and have a reputation for delivering the highest quality care, providing unique opportunities for research and education, as well as supporting the implementation of the most current technology in the field," said Dr. Burmeister.

"It is our hope that this high-level program specialized in the latest radiation oncology practices, now expanded both locally and internationally, will not only recruit the best and brightest but also retain them after they graduate from the program."

Those interested in applying should visit Medical Physics Residency Application Program through the Medical Physics Matching Program ("MedPhys Match") endorsed and sponsored by the AAPM and the Society of Directors of Academic Medical Physics Program (SDAMPP.)

About the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Located in mid-town Detroit, Michigan, the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, a subsidiary of McLaren Health Care, is one of 45 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Karmanos is among the nation's best cancer centers. Through the commitment of 1,000 staff, including nearly 300 physicians and researchers on faculty at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, and supported by thousands of volunteer and financial donors, Karmanos strives to prevent, detect and eradicate all forms of cancer. Its long-term partnership with the WSU School of Medicine enhances the collaboration of critical research and academics related to cancer care. Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D., is the Institute's president and chief executive officer. For more information call 1-800-KARMANOS or go to www.karmanos.org.