The Orlando Health Difference


Engaged, Growing Department

Our main strength is that all of our staff is supportive of our residency, including the dosimetrists, physicians, and therapists. This creates a very conducive learning environment and helps the residents in seeking out answers as they learn. We are a growing department, hiring on another medical physicist, dosimetrist, and radiation oncologist in the past couple months. The department is the perfect size, with 11 physicists, 11 dosimetrists, two physics residents, 12 radiation oncologists, and two physics QA assistants. It is large enough to offer diverse insights and experiences, but small enough for intimate learning and collaboration.

Early Adopters of Technology

Historically, we have been early adopters of new technologies (i.e. TomoTherapy, Calypso, VisionRT, Mevion Proton system and ViewRay) and treatment techniques and our residents have benefited from exposure to them. The department was the first clinical site in the world to implement the Tomotherapy HiArt helical Tomotherapy treatment unit. Orlando Health was the first to offer proton therapy treatments in Central Florida, the third to open in the state of Florida, and 23rd in the nation. Our department was the first hospital in Central Florida to offer the ViewRay MRIdian system, second in the state of Florida, and sixth in the nation.

Solid Preparation for ABR

The oral examinations used to assess resident knowledge at the end of rotations thoroughly prepares our trainees for the real exam. Many of our staff physicists served as examiners for the ABR certification exam, allowing our program to create oral examinations that model the content of the real exam. Furthermore, our oral exams focus on board etiquette, an important factor in successfully passing the ABR examination. Many of our past graduates have commented that our oral exams are actually harder than the real exam, further demonstrating the preparation our residents receive. Most importantly, all of our graduates who have tested for the ABR examination have passed and gone on to have successful careers in medical physics!

QA Assistants Minimize Workload

Unlike most other residency programs, our residents are not responsible for the entire IMRT QA workload. Our hospital employs two full-time physics QA assistants who perform the majority of patient-specific IMRT QA. The QA assistants work four nights a week leaving the residents to cover the remaining night. Therefore, each resident is responsible for IMRT QA one night every other week, leaving more time and flexibility for the residents to participate in other clinical tasks. Furthermore, IMRT QA is done primarily using SNC’s Fraction 0 software, which uses the portal imager to record images of the fields without a phantom. The software then automatically pulls in the patient’s images and analyzes them without user interaction. Therefore, IMRT QA is extremely simple and efficient, taking only 10 minutes to deliver and analyze.

Integration of QA Equipment

All of our QA equipment and its associated software is made by Sun Nuclear Corporation (SNC) allowing us to streamline and simplify the entire QA process at our hospital. The majority of monthly QA tests use the IC-Profiler and energy quad wedges, avoiding the use of the 1D water tank or Farmer chambers. The monthly imaging tests also use SNC phantoms, allowing the SNC Machine software to automatically pull in the images and analyze them without user input. Due to this integration of our QA equipment, monthly QA takes approximately an hour to complete all the TG-142 tasks in comparison to upwards of several hours to perform monthly without this integration of products.

Close Interaction with Physicians

The one weakness of the program is that we do not have a physician residency in Radiation Oncology. However, this also means that the residents get a lot of direct contact with the physicians when they are involved in treatment planning. In addition, our physicians have committed to providing a clinical site-specific focused seminar once a month at our residency seminar. This is a great opportunity for our residents to fully engage with our physicians and understand their thought process and clinical decisions. Furthermore, our residents will shadow the physicians during their external beam rotations, attending initial patient consults and on-treatment visits in order to gain a better understanding of a radiation oncologist’s role in the department.

Life in Orlando

The Orlando Health Cancer Institute is located in the heart of Orlando, an exciting big city that is also surprisingly affordable. 10 reasons why it’s great to live in Orlando are:

    Beautiful weather at the beach.
  1. Low cost of living
    • No state income tax
    • Average rent for a one-bedroom is $1,300
  2. Beautiful weather
    • Rarely drops below 60 degrees
    • Year-round sunshine
  3. Florida Beaches
    • 1-hour drive to Cocoa or New Smyrna Beach
    • 2-hour drive to Clearwater Beach (voted top beach in the US)
  4. Theme Park Heaven
    • Disney, Universal, SeaWorld, Busch Gardens
  5. Like a Local: The City of Winter Park
  6. Diverse and Historic Neighborhoods
    • Winter Park, Celebration, Thornton Park
  7. Professional and College Sports
    • Orlando Magic
    • Orlando City Soccer
    • Orlando Predators
    • UCF College Sports
  8. Shopping
    • Outlet malls, Disney Springs, Mall at Millennia
  9. Orlando City Soccer game.
  10. Arts and culture
    • Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
    • Orlando Science Center
    • Amway Arena
  11. Major Travel Hub
    • Orlando International Airport
    • Orlando Sanford International Airport
    • Amtrak and SunRail
    • Central access to cruise ports on both coasts
  12. Connection with Nature
    • Numerous parks and lakes
    • Lake Eola, Leu Gardens, UCF Arboretum