You are reading the 2024/25 Academic Calendar. The 2023/24 version remains in effect until August 31, 2024 and is available here.

Radiation Oncology and Developmental Radiotherapeutics


The purpose of PGY-1 is to introduce the trainee to independent decision-making in clinical practice. The development of a mature physician-patient relationship, and acquired competence in primary technical skills across a broad range of medical practice, is required.

The rotations included in this year are radiation oncology (8 weeks), internal medicine (8 weeks), surgery (8 weeks), gyne-oncology (4 weeks), pediatrics (4 weeks), family medicine (4 weeks), radiology (4 weeks), palliative care (4 weeks), and elective (8 weeks).

PGY-1 year is not a rotating internship; it contains rotations more geared toward oncology and more likely to be beneficial for future oncologists. At the end of the year, residents will not be eligible for a general license in BC.


PGY-2. Includes six months of approved resident training in internal medicine (that includes three months of training in Medical Oncology).

PGY-4. During the training in Radiation Oncology, an additional six months may be approved by the Program Director for training in clinical, basic science or research training relevant to the objectives of the specialty, and acceptable to the Director of the Residency program and to the Royal College.

PGY2-5. Three years of radiation oncology (36 months): BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver Clinic, and one to two months mandatory rotations in one of other 3 centers in Cancer Centers in BC (FVCC-Surrey (two months), CCSI-Kelowna (minimum one month) or VICC-Victoria (minimum one month).

  • site-specific rotations (eight weeks long: head and neck, gynecological oncology, lymphoma, breast, etc.)
  • weekly academic half day: didactic instruction in radiobiology, pathology, physics, radiology, principles and practice of oncology and radiation oncology treatment planning
  • annual formal practice radiotherapy planning examinations
  • support for annual attendance at Northwestern Radiobiology Course (Seattle, Edmonton, Vancouver)
  • presentation at national and international meetings encouraged
  • mid-rotation feedback sessions and end of rotation oral assessments
  • fall and spring exams for senior residents

Core Academic Activities

    Clinical Oncology
  • ACU
  • Bedside and individual tutorials
    Treatment Planning (occurs in the contexts of):
  • individual rotations
  • treatment planning drills
  • introductory didactic lecture series
  • tutorials
  • seminar series
  • Northwestern Radiobiology Course (Seattle, Edmonton, Vancouver)
  • physics course with weekly tutorials for PGY2 and PGY3
  • end of the course written and oral exams
  • seminars/problem-based series
  • case-based teaching with clinical and pathological input
  • introduction to normal and abnormal radiological anatomy
  • academic sessions
  • weekly seminars
    Other Programs
  • Facilitate General Surgery, Respirology, Otolaryngology, Medical Oncology, Pediatric/Hematology/Oncology/OBGyn and other programs.


Residents' research is a small but important and integral part in the Residency Training in Radiation Oncology. While the residents in PGY2-4 will be encouraged and expected to carry out research projects, these activities must be balanced against many other academic and educational activities during their residency training.

Purpose of resident research:

  • To learn research methodology, importance of correct research question, choice and application of proper statistical methods, systematic approach to literature review.
  • To develop the ability to successfully present conducted research work in oral and written form.
  • To fulfill some of the Can Meds requirements in the overall program education:
    1. Collaboration: residents are expected to independently build a relationship with other professionals (scientists, radiation therapists, physicists, other physicians and colleagues) in order to complete their work.
    2. Management: residents will learn how to manage their time, staff and resources needed to complete the projects.
    3. Scholasticism: the research activities would help develop residents' scholarly abilities and foster professional curiosity
    4. Communication: clear communication of research findings (in written and oral form) will enhance residents communication abilities.

Residents are expected to produce a total of three projects during their residency training (PGY2-PGY4). The projects are expected to be presented at the Annual Residents Day in May/June of each year. Residents may be encouraged to send their research to other meetings. This should be at the discretion of the Program Director and the Residents Research Facilitator.

Every year we have a Residents' Day Award, where all the residents present their annual research projects. Every second year, there is a grant writing competition (Peter Poon Award). Residents are encouraged to present their research projects at national and international meetings.

Residents in good academic standing, with Program Director approval, may seek Radiation Oncology electives in other centres in Canada, the US or overseas. A six month block in research is available as well, and is again at the discretion of the Program Director. The BC Cancer Research Centre and the Genome Sequence Centre have tight collaboration with the Radiation Oncology Department and the entire BC Cancer Agency. Research activities are encouraged and supported by the Program Director, Department Head and Radiation Oncology staff.

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