MEDICAL ONCOLOGY RESIDENCY PROGRAM

Program Director, Dr. Ghazaleh Kazemi
 

 

Maria Campagnolo

Campagnolo, Maria
Residency program assistant currently on leave Please contact Heather hethomas@hhsc.ca

905-387-9711 ext. 67162
hethomas@hhsc.ca

Ghazaleh Kazemi

Kazemi, Ghazaleh
Assistant Professor

905-387-9711 ext. 63123
kazemi@hhsc.ca


Overview
PLACEHOLDER TITLE

The McMaster University Medical Oncology Training Program is a Royal College of Physician and Surgeons of Canada fully accredited two year program providing training in all aspects of the CanMEDs competencies in medical oncology. The program provides a wealth of clinical experience in a setting of one on one interaction between residents and medical oncology teaching faculty.

The Juravinski Cancer Centre has one of the largest clinical trials programs in the country and a very active fellowship program with opportunities for further training following residency (PGY6 and/or PGY7).  McMaster University has trained many clinical research fellows over the past decade in breast cancer, lung cancer, gastrointestinal cancers, genitourinary cancers, investigational new drugs often combined with research and enrollment in the McMaster University Masters in Health Research Methodology or Masters in Education Degree Programs.  Funded positions are available each year although fellows are encouraged to apply for outside sources of funding. 

Program Highlights

PLACEHOLDER TITLE

We have a comprehensive set of clinical, basic science and research rounds. The medical oncology program at McMaster University has a structured core teaching program including academic half day every Wednesday afternoon. A two year formal rotation of topics covers the spectrum of oncology from basic science, clinical epidemiology, cancer prevention and screening to treatment (systemic, radiation and supportive care). Topics are generally organized by tumour site with multidisciplinary teaching as appropriate. A popular feature of our program is the Clinical Research Curriculum which is led by medical oncologist, Dr. J. Goffin and cancer statistician Dr. G. Pond.  The research curriculum provides residents with practical training on clinical research methodology and an approach to critical appraisal of the oncology literature.  Residents are paired up with a medical oncology faculty member who serves as their mentor to develop a research question, leading to the development of a research protocol and ultimately a presentation at a meeting and/or publication in a peer review journal.  Another unique feature of the McMaster University medical oncology program is that our residents have the opportunity to become co-investigators on national and international phase II and III clinical trials to gain valuable experience in this area prior to becoming staff.  This has become possible in 2018 thanks to the ground-breaking efforts of our clinical trials department head, Dr. Rosalyn Juergens. 

Our program also offers a unique course that runs throughout the 2 year residency program called Molecular Oncology Rounds.    This series of rounds is led every year by Dr. Hal Hirte and covers key molecular pathways in cancer pathogenesis, oncology drug development and the mechanisms of new targeted therapies such as immunotherapies, novel kinase inhibitors, angiogenesis inhibitors and cell cycle inhibitors to name just a few.  This program takes place every Friday morning, with the exception of the summer break.  Additional teaching sessions include the McMaster 'Bread and Butter' rounds which are resident led sessions that take place over the summer for the PGY 4s new to medical oncology.  This includes teaching from the PGY5 to PGY4 residents (with staff facilitators present) in breast, lung and GI cancers as well as accompanying review of key journals for each of the 3 disease sites, and a review of common case scenarios that residents are likely to encounter in their first few months of training in medical oncology.

We transitioned to a Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada - Competency Based Medical Education residency training program on July 1st, 2018.  Our faculty are highly motivated to provide frequent direct observation of their clinical skills with immediate feedback.  We also have several assessments including a communication skills OSCE, in-training written medical oncology examination similar to the Royal College medical oncology board examination, and our residents participate in the American Society of Clinical Oncology in-training examination during both their PGY4 and PGY5 years.  This ensures that skills are being learned at the appropriate stage of training from transition to discipline (TTD) to foundations (F) to core (C) to transition to practice (TTP).

Competence by Design

PLACEHOLDER TITLE

We transitioned to a Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada - Competency Based Medical Education residency training program on July 1st, 2018. Our faculty are highly motivated to provide frequent direct observation of their clinical skills with immediate feedback. We also have several assessments including a communication skills OSCE, in-training written medical oncology examination similar to the Royal College medical oncology board examination, and our residents participate in the American Society of Clinical Oncology in-training examination during both their PGY4 and PGY5 years. This ensures that skills are being learned at the appropriate stage of training from transition to discipline (TTD) to foundations (F) to core (C) to transition to practice (TTP).

Finally, the Juravinski Cancer Centre has one of the largest clinical trials programs in the country and a very active fellowship program with opportunities for further training following residency (PGY6 and/or PGY7). McMaster University has trained many clinical research fellows over the past decade in breast cancer, lung cancer, gastrointestinal cancers, genitourinary cancers, investigational new drugs often combined with research and enrollment in the McMaster University Masters in Health Research Methodology or Masters in Education Degree Programs. Funded positions are available each year although fellows are encouraged to apply for outside sources of funding. 

RADIATION ONCOLOGY RESIDENCY PROGRAM

Program Director, Dr. Barb Strang

Want to learn more about our program? 

Please join us for town hall meetings with Dr. Strang and our radiation oncology residents.  Please RSVP to Heather at  hethomas@hhsc.ca

October 22, 2020 6:00 - 7:30 pm

November 19, 2020, 7:00 - 8:30 pm

December 17, 2020 - 6:00 - 7:30 pm

January 21, 2021 - 6:00 - 7:30 pm

 

 

Maria Campagnolo

Campagnolo, Maria
Residency program assistant currently on leave Please contact Heather hethomas@hhsc.ca

905-387-9711 ext. 67162
hethomas@hhsc.ca

Barbara Strang

Barb Strang
Associate Professor

905-387-9711 ext. 63123
strang@hhsc.ca


Overview

PLACEHOLDER TITLE

Radiation Oncology is a rewarding clinical specialty that includes both hands-on, multidisciplinary clinical care of cancer patients, as well as mastery over sophisticated radiation treatment technology. It combines patient-oriented clinical skills with knowledge of the fascinating, ever-changing field of cancer biology, anatomy-based three-dimensional imaging competence, and physics-based technical radiation treatment planning skills. It demands the development of competence in general medicine and palliative care, and specifically in evidenced-based clinical oncology, requires a commitment to excellent communication and collaboration skills, and provides a supportive, inspiring, multidisciplinary practice environment. It allows for a career focusing primarily on clinical practice, or for a highly academic career combining practice with education, research, and/or cancer control administration. 

Program Highlights

PLACEHOLDER TITLE

Radiation Oncology training at McMaster University is a 5-year program starting in PGY1 and takes place largely at the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre (JCC) in Hamilton. Clinical experiences also occur at the Hamilton General Hospital, McMaster Children’s Hospital, and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton. Training includes general medical and surgical oncology training, training in diagnostic imaging, pathology, palliative medicine, and emergency medicine, as well as extensive training in the evaluation and management of cancers in all body sites and specific radiation treatments related to those cancers.  Training includes experience in both adult and paediatric oncology. Trainees are required to do some training in a non-teaching Cancer Centre to experience the diversity of practice that exists in this specialty, and have the opportunity to do electives in centres in Ontario, elsewhere in Canada, or beyond; our trainees have completed electives in large and small centres all across Canada, in large US cancer centres, and in Uganda, Australia, Europe and the Middle East. Residents have dedicated training in applied medical physics, radiobiology, and research methodology, and are required to complete and present a scholarly project.  There are 25 Radiation Oncologists at the JCC and a large multidisciplinary group of physicians and allied health colleagues who make the atmosphere at McMaster collegial, motivating, supportive, and inspiring.  

The Juravinski Cancer Centre houses contemporary radiotherapy technology, including an outpatient high dose-rate brachytherapy suite, a cyberknife unit, CT and MR-simulators, an orthovoltage treatment unit, state-of-the-art linear accelerators with contemporary on-board imaging, and sophisticated treatment planning technologies. This allows trainees to gain experience in all facets of established radiation treatment as well as evolving technologies and techniques.

Hamilton has well-developed clinical multidisciplinary teams in Gynaecologic oncology, Neuro-oncology, Head & Neck malignancies, Hepatobiliary and Gastrointestinal cancers, Breast cancers, Thoracic cancers, Haematologic Malignancies, Skin cancers, and Gentourinary cancers in addition to having one of Ontario’s few specialized Sarcoma programs, and the McMaster Children’s Hospital specialized paediatric oncology service. The Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre has dedicated inpatient and outpatient Palliative Care programs. Supportive care services at the Juravinski Cancer Centre include a regional genetics program with genetics counselling and testing, as well as social work, mental health,  and dietician support for patients. The JCC has an aboriginal patient navigator to service patients from the large local indigenous population living in urban Hamilton and within the region both on and off reserve.  Radiation Oncologists at the JCC attend clinics at community hospitals in the region, to bring care closer to patients in their own communities, and trainees attend such clinics as well. 

The academic Department of Oncology includes the clinical Radiation Oncology, Medical Oncology, Malignant Haematology and Surgical Oncology faculty, as well as non-clinical faculty in epidemiology and statistics. The Department of Oncology is very productive and collaborative with respect clinical oncology research output, and faculty provide education, support, supervision and mentorship to trainees in research methods and the development and completion of scholarly projects. Depending on research interests, other resources to support scholarship include the Supportive Cancer Care Research Unit (SCCRU), McMaster’s Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact (HEI), the McMaster Education Research, Innovation and Theory (MERIT) Program and the Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis (CHEPA).  We are a full member of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), an affiliate member of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), an active participant in National Cancer Institute of Canada - Clinical Trials Group (NCIC-CTG) and are home to the Ontario Clinical Oncology Group (OCOG) and the Escarpment Cancer Research Institute (ECRI).  . The JCC has a large Clinical Trials Department, participating in intergroup trials, industry trials, and in-house trials.

Resident Curriculum

PLACEHOLDER TITLE

Residents are required to provide regular Radiation Oncology educational seminars to the inpatient Internal Medicine Housestaff, and to present at regular Journal Club meetings, Morbidity and Mortality Rounds, Clinical/pathology Conferences, and Multidisciplinary Case Conferences. Many trainees also commit to longitudinal clinical skills teaching to undergraduate MD students, and there are ad hoc opportunities to participate in education to visiting undergraduate elective students. The collaborative atmosphere of the program results in frequent teaching of junior residents by senior trainees, both formally and informally. Many residents have identified opportunities for innovative educational initiatives, which have been adopted into the formal program.  

Trainees in this program share a dedicated large, comfortable, bright space with ample computer resources for access to clinical and educational information, and radiation treatment planning technology. Residents are financially supported to attend one Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology (CARO) annual scientific meeting and one American Society of Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) meeting during training, plus any North American meetings at which the trainee presents research. Trainees are also supported to attend the national "prep course" in PGY4 and PGY5 to prepare for the Royal College exam, and the London "contouring boot camp" once during training. Recommended physics and radiobiology texts are provided, as well as access to e-anatomy. Wednesday afternoons are protected for education, which includes a weekly JCC-wide rounds followed by the academic half-day on a variety of relevant topics.  Radiation physics is taught in a protected 2-week "basics" course in the fall followed by longitudinal sessions throughout the academic year, in the PGY2 and PGY3 years. A physics "review" week for senior residents is given annually. Radiobiology is taught through the U of T annual Radiobiology Course, in PGY2 and PGY4. An annual in-house written exam and semi-annual OSCE in PGY3, 4, and 5 help prepare senior residents for the Royal College fellowship exam, and dedicated one-on-one mock oral exams are given by faculty in the months leading up to the fellowship exam. Residents participate in and lead regular Journal Club meetings, and JCC-wide Morbidity and Mortality Rounds. Most importantly, resident work one-on-one with Radiation Oncologists throughout the PGY2-PGY5 years, acquiring the skills and knowledge required for a successful career in Radiation Oncology.

The Division of Radiation Oncology is a collegial, supportive group of 25 Radiation Oncologists who welcome our trainees into the specialty and support them educationally and personally through training. Residents each have a faculty mentor as well as the Program Director available for personal or professional support. McMaster’s Postgraduate Medical Education office has confidential support services for residents and access to a variety of supports to meet the needs of trainees. Most importantly, the resident group in the Radiation Oncology program creates a collegial and mutually supportive training environment.

Transition to Discipline (PGY1)

Trainees will spend the first 8 weeks of training in the Radiation Oncology Department in various clinical, treatment planning and delivery, and orientation environments.

Foundations (PGY1)

Trainees will spend the remaining of the PGY1 year in Foundational training, including 12 weeks in General Internal Medicine and 4 weeks in each of Thoracic Surgical Oncology, Gynaecology Surgical Oncology, Emergency Medicine, inpatient and outpatient Palliative Care, Malignant Hematology, Diagnostic Imaging, and Neuro-Oncology.

Core (PGY2-midPGY5):

Trainees will spend most of this stage of training working one-on-one with JCC Radiation Oncologists, gaining knowledge, experience and skill in each disease site plus paediatric radiation oncology. There will also be protected time for focusing on learning the technical aspects of radiotherapy, applied radiation physics, and radiobiology, protected time for scholarly work, and dedicated clinical experiences in Medical Oncology and Inpatient Oncology, Community Radiation Oncology, and clinical electives outside of the JCC.

Transition to Practice (latter PGY5):

This stage of training will comprise longitudinal clinical experience, practice management, completion of scholarly work, and the development of independent decision-making and treatment planning, to prepare for fellowship or independent practice.