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Return to Residency: Deja Vu All Over Again


New Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 19, 2008
  1. Attending Physician
    I am an Internal Medicine physician that finished my residency back in 1999. I am currently a partner in a successful private practice, but I am looking for a change. I am considering applying for a radiation oncology residency. It is a difficult decision as you could imagine. I also understand that it is extremely competative to get a spot. I am wondering if anyone out there was or has been in a similiar position before? I have no doubts that I still have the vitality and drive to thrive in a residency, but I am not sure how I will be viewed as an applicant.


    Full Member
    10+ Year Member
    15+ Year Member
    Mar 17, 2004
    1. Attending Physician
      A recent graduate from my residency program had previously been a family practice physician. He had been in practice a few years before deciding to come back for radiation oncology residency. He's now finished and out in practice. He found it a bit difficulty to re-adjust, but ended up doing really well. Just to let you know it can and has been done. Best of luck!
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      10+ Year Member
      Jul 22, 2008
      Greater NY Metro Area
      1. Attending Physician
        Traditionally, many internists wind up in radonc, and some of the great people in the field had started out in other medical disciplines. I'm sure that they would like you just fine, especially a program that doesnt mind turning out clinicians as opposed to academicians. Tell the residency director that several years of IM had convinced you that cancer is the most interesting disease, and you decided to specialize in cancer. Tell them that you much prefer radiation to heme-onc because in your experience it works as well or better than chemo and it doesnt make people sick. They would love that! The radiation oncologists are getting pushed aside by the med-oncs more each year thanks to the marketing muscle of the big drug companies. A residency director would love to hear from someone with years of clinical experience who feels that radiation is superior to chemo.

        But if all you are looking for is a change from the insurance company hassles and long hours of internal medicine, there are other paths besides doing a second residency. I myself have switched to part-time practice and am pursuing my hobby as a career. I am the happiest Ive ever been in my life. Send me a private message if you want to chat.


        Newbie but experienced
        10+ Year Member
        7+ Year Member
        Feb 18, 2008
        1. Post Doc
          I know from the standpoint of once being on an admissions panel that your options are few. Medicare which pays the bulk of resident salaries has a funny little rule that they will not pay the hospital for a resident to do a 2nd residency. So most hospitals will often not take them as they would have to 'eat' your salary. I don't know if this has changed, but was the case even a few years ago.

          But it doesn't hurt to try.
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