5+ Year Member
Nov 2, 2013
Medical Student
Hi all,
I'm an incoming MS1 interested in radiation oncology. I know radonc is a specialty in which research is a very important part of residency applications; fortunately, it's something I'm very interested in doing. However, I was wondering if there are any specific areas I should be focusing my research in? My school doesn't have it's own radonc residency, and I'm not sure how much research the radonc department is actively doing, as it's not very large. So I'm not sure how much radonc specific research I'll have. Is general cancer-focused research enough?

Thanks for any advice!


5+ Year Member
Jan 25, 2014
Resident [Any Field]
When you start school, take a few weeks to get acclimated. When you feel like you have the hang of things and maybe have some time to devote to research, go on your schools rad onc department website, and find the faculty profile pages. Look at their publications, see if any of it is interesting to you. If it seems like cool stuff, send them an email letting them know that you are interested in their research and would like to help. In my experience they will probably be happy to meet with you and enlist you as their data mining monkey. If they don't return your email, just send somebody else an email and keep doing this until someone says yes. You basically don't need any experience - the attending will probably hold your hand and show you how to access the chart to find the data you want. I'm only a MS2, but this is how I got involved in research very early on.

Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile


7+ Year Member
Mar 30, 2012
The Big State, USA
Medical Student
I will also like to say that research will help you most of the time, whatever path you ultimately sets your eye on. I would caution you though that it is important, for your own "growth" to keep an open mind, as to allow you to discover as much as what other specialties do and get exposed to the variety that medicine has to offer. If you go in blind thinking all I want to do is RadOnc, you may end up missing your true passion.
Enjoy school, enjoy medicine, remain open and give yourself time to decide. That said, research now is a good thing (assuming you have the bandwidth to keep up with classes and do research at the same time).

Good luck.