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Radiation Oncology Clinical Medical Physics Residency (Minnesota)


Mayo Clinic radiation oncology treatment room

Program description

Medical physicists collaborate with radiation oncologists to treat and cure cancer through clinical activities, research, and education.

As stated by the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), "The essential responsibility of the Qualified Medical Physicist's clinical practice is to assure the safe and effective delivery of radiation to achieve a diagnostic or therapeutic result as prescribed in patient care. The medical physicist performs or supervises the pertinent procedures necessary to achieve this objective." Read more about scope of practice.

Among other things, radiation oncology physics (therapeutic radiologic physics) includes:

  • The therapeutic applications of X-rays, gamma rays, electron and charged particle beams, neutrons, and radiations from sealed radionuclide sources
  • The equipment associated with their production, use, measurement, and evaluation
  • The quality of images resulting from their production and use
  • Medical health physics associated with this subfield

The AAPM regards board certification in the appropriate medical subfield as the appropriate qualification for the designation of Qualified Medical Physicist. The certifying body for medical physicists in this discipline is the American Board of Radiology (ABR).

Beginning in 2014, any individual who wishes to sit for board certification in any medical physics subfield must have graduated from a clinical training program (residency) accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs (CAMPEP).

The three-year Radiation Oncology Clinical Medical Physics Residency at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota, is designed for candidates with doctoral degrees — usually in medical physics, physics, or a related physical science field — who are interested in careers in radiation oncology medical physics. Our program is one of the first clinical residency programs to be accredited by CAMPEP (2003).

This program focuses on the medical application of physics in the clinical treatment of patients with radiation through:

  • Clinical education in all aspects of medical physics practice
  • Any necessary didactic medical physics education required
  • Research training in projects related to clinical medical physics

Key benefits and highlights

All training in the Radiation Oncology Clinical Medical Physics Residency is provided under the close supervision of experienced radiation oncology physicists.

Your training:

  • Follows Mayo Clinic's CAMPEP-accredited Radiation Oncology Clinical Medical Physics Training program (our program subscribes to and covers all material in CAMPEP Standards for Accreditation of Residency Educational Programs in Medical Physics)
  • Occurs in a large, state-of-the-art radiation oncology center
  • Provides hands-on and evaluated experience in all clinical aspects of radiation oncology physics
  • Ensures you are able to practice independently by the time you complete the program
  • Offers research training and experience through mentored projects culminating in the development of clinical protocols, conference presentations, and peer-reviewed scientific publications

Employment opportunities

Nationwide, there continues to be a strong need for medical physicists. Individuals graduating from this program have successfully found employment opportunities, often in junior faculty or clinical positions at prominent institutions around the country.


This training program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs (CAMPEP).


You are eligible to enter the board certification process upon matriculating into our residency. Graduates are expected to take the complete examination series offered by the American Board of Radiology. To date, all of our graduates have passed these exams.

Program statistics

CAMPEP requires every accredited program to post descriptive statistics about its applicants and graduates. For each year, we list the number of applicants, number of positions filled, and number of graduates.

For graduates of that year, we list the number who has completed ABR board certification (or equivalent) and the type of initial employment positions (placement) for the graduates.

Applicants 62 56 61 64 111
Positions 3 3 2 3 3
Graduates 2 3 3 3 3
Certified 3 3 3 3
Initial Placement 2 Clinical ** 3 clinical** 3 clinical** 3 clinical** 3 clinical**
Current Placement 2 Clinical ** 3 clinical** 3 clinical** 3 clinical** 3 clinical**

*Graduates of the current year have completed at least part 1 of the board certification process and are not eligible to complete the process until the following year or later.

**Practicing therapeutic medical physicist with or without academic and/or research responsibilities.

Program history

The Radiation Oncology Clinical Medical Physics Residency at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, began in 1997. Currently up to three fellows complete this program annually.