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Things I wish I knew as a new Rad Onc resident.....

Discussion in 'Radiation Oncology' started by irfanmd1, May 14, 2007.

  1. irfanmd1

    irfanmd1 Junior Member
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    Would the senior residents and faculty please share their thoughts and advice specifically for new rad onc residents?
    Thanks,:)

    -Irfan
     
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  3. radonc

    radonc Senior Member
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    its a lot more work that i initially thought:

    studying (clinical, biology, AND physics) & preparing for conferences (2-4 hrs per day) while working 9-10 hr days and trying to maintain a healthy & active life.

    word of advice: take your time while learning...dont try to do too much at once. you will inevitably get swamped and hurt the learning process. study with residents...it makes it easier and they can teach you tricks and vice-versa. you can also use your co-resident as a gauge on how you are doing...
     
  4. stephew

    stephew SDN Super Moderator
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    learn a little always. dont cram. make mistakes and stupid questions now, dont be embarrassed. more people will be wondering than you realize and if we were expect to know you wouldnt need 5 years of training.
     
  5. ParticlePower

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    Always to find a way to enjoy what you are doing. Some elements of work and studying are inherently less enjoyable than others. So it might take a little creativity on your part, but if you can find a way to enjoy it, you will do whatever "It" is just that much better.
     
  6. irfanmd1

    irfanmd1 Junior Member
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    Thank you for your valuable advice! :)

    I was also hoping if there were some thoughts about the interaction/ dynamics between the rad onc residents and the med oncs/ surgeons/ physicists/ nurses/ dosimetrists/ radiation therapists on a day to day level and also at conferences/ journal club presentations. Any insights on how to get along better, and have fun learning experiences!

    -Irfan
     
  7. stephew

    stephew SDN Super Moderator
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    show respect =, learn what you do and what they do so you can talk about it. it makes you a great doc and earns their respect. Do NOT let them treat you like the phlebotomy/technician team on hand to do their bidding. you are a cancer doctor and radoncs often know more than the medoncs/surgeons. Act as such (not that you "know more" but that you are a cancer specialist) Nurses are professionals. treat them that way. Dosimetrists and physicists can make you look good, teach you more than you can imagine and save your ass. treat them that way. Basically, be a nice guy and things will fall your way.Just enjoy learning and it will roll smoothy. Nothing fancy.
     
  8. SimulD

    SimulD Senior Member
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    Ask a lot of questions to the specialists (H&N surgeons, surg oncs, med-oncs) about their area of expertise. Go to all the tumor boards you can, even the ones off your service if you have time. If an opportunity to give a talk arises, take it - you learn a lot, and you'll gain respect amongst the other specialists. Steph is right - we aren't 'radiation therapists'. We don't do what a specialist wants - we do what's right for the patient.

    Dosimetrists are crucial to a junior resident. When contouring, ask a million questions about fields, wedges, collimator angles, etc. Ask why they do things the way they do. Most dosimetrists like to teach the residents, and they can break it down very simply for you. I'd say talk to the physicists, but they just seem to confuse me further right now. I'm sure as I learn more, I will learn from them, too.

    RTs are great and the key to delivery of treatment. At the beginning, when you are new and asked to approve things, be wary and don't be rushed. They just want to get things rolling, so if you aren't sure, don't just say 'ok' to appease the tech. Take another film if you need to, call an attending if you need to, and don't get rushed. But, when looking at films, ask them for pointers on landmarks and quick ways to match up things. They do this a million times a week, so they have good shortcuts.

    As far as studying, I don't know what to say but read lots. Some UpToDate, some textbook, some journal articles, just a little bit every day and more before conference or when giving a talk. Nothing really clicks at the beginning. It's too overwhelming, and it doesn't seem to help. But, each time you go over something, some of it sticks. It's like "Karate Kid", when Daniel-san is asked to clean the floors and paint and doesn't get why and gets all mad (like me reading Khan). Then finally, when sen-sai spars with him, he realizes why - he was building baseline skills and reflexes (like when I drop a tight four-field plan for a rectal ca).

    -S
     
  9. irfanmd1

    irfanmd1 Junior Member
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    Steph and Simul, Thank you!! :)

    your advice seems very real and very pertinent. Will reflect on it, and use it.

    -Irfan
     
  10. StanleyCup7

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    Sorry for the 2.5 year bump...you can blame the spring of 4th year, LOL! :)

    I thought this would be a great thread to get going again. I love learning from those who have gone before me so that I can learn from their experiences/lessons/mistakes. Thank you very much for all who contribute. :thumbup::thumbup:
     

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