UAB has a long history of training outstanding physicians who have been able to contribute to both the private practice environment as well as academic institutions throughout the country. Physicians who train in the field of radiation oncology are exposed to a wide variety of malignancies, both common and rare in nature. Physicians are also exposed to current technological advances as UAB has an active program in general radiation oncology, brachytherapy, CT simulation, gamma knife stereotactic radiosurgery, IMRT, and pediatric oncology. Unique strengths of the residency program include the relatively large pediatric oncology experience, a variety of brachytherapy including gynecological, and extensive education in treatment planning. In 2004, the department’s first Tomotherapy HiArt treatment unit was installed giving residents experience with Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT). The department has continued to invest in image guidance with installation of cone beam CT on two additional Linacs in 2006 and 2007. Under the leadership of Richard Popple, Ph.D., UAB was the first center in the United States to implement volumetric arc therapy (RapidArc) further refining IMRT delivery.
Radiation oncology residents interact with many other physicians throughout the hospital. Therefore, it is imperative for a physician to gain training in a facility where the referring departments have strong programs and interact well with radiation oncology. This is clearly the case at UAB's Comprehensive Cancer Center and the collegial nature of interdisciplinary interaction is displayed by the multiple protocol treatments that involve several disciplines. This collegial nature and collaboration in research and patient management is also exemplified by the multiple organ site specific tumor boards and multi-disciplinary clinics.