The breadth and scope of the patient volume at UCLA provides an ideal environment for clinical training. Residents are assigned to two-month site-specific clinical rotations practicing under the supervision of attending physicians during the course of training. Although training occurs largely in an apprenticeship-like format, residents gain progressively increasing responsibility and are refining their skills in evidence-based thinking and independent decision-making.
One-on-one teaching is emphasized and opportunities to provide feedback are abundant. Residents are an essential component of the practice team and work closely with ancillary staff and referring physicians to optimize care. Residents also obtain essential, practical training in an intensive dosimetry/treatment planning rotation at the beginning of the PGY-3 year. Dedicated research is undertaken during the PGY-4 year with 6 to 12 months available for scholarly activity. Formal rotations with the brachytherapy service, one of the nation’s most active in terms of clinical volume and research, and at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, a non-profit academic medical center serving over 93,000 children a year, round out the required components of the core rotation schedule. Available elective rotations include diagnostic radiology, pathology, and medical oncology.
Residents also work with faculty in nuclear medicine to gain experience in the application of radionuclides. Opportunities also exist for formal rotations with the East-West Center for complementary medicine and the Simms-Mann Integrative Oncology Center, two well-renowned alternative health programs at UCLA. Familiarity with systems-based practice is continually emphasized throughout the course of residency.
Each of our faculty is devoted to creating a vibrant environment for learning, one characterized by collegiality and mutual respect. The didactic curriculum has been carefully designed with the goal of creating a balance between resident self-thinking and mentored teaching. In addition, residents actively participate in numerous patient care-related conferences including chart rounds, quality assurance meetings, multidisciplinary tumor boards, and educational workshops, all of which occur on a frequent basis.