A Mayo Clinic medical physicist inspects computed tomography equipment.

Graduate medical education in radiation oncology at Mayo Clinic

Page Content


As a resident in the Radiation Oncology Clinical Medical Physics Residency, you will learn to provide the highest standards of patient care in a hospital known throughout the world for its primary value: “The needs of the patient come first.” You will learn from over 40 dedicated physicists how to care for complex patients across the entire scope of the specialty, collaborating with radiation oncologists to treat and cure cancer through clinical activities, research, and education.

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

Unique and noteworthy aspects of the program include:

  • Intensive CAMPEP-accredited clinical training, under the close supervision of experienced radiation oncology physicists, over three years, in a large, state-of-the-art radiation oncology center with a fully integrated proton and x-ray practice
  • Structured curriculum providing comprehensive didactic and hands-on educational experiences in all clinical aspects of radiation oncology physics
  • Research training and experience through mentored projects culminating in the development of clinical protocols, opportunities to present at national and international meetings, and peer-reviewed scientific publications
  • Opportunities for collaboration with world-renowned clinicians in the fields of radiation oncology, radiation physics, medical oncology, surgery, radiology, and pathology
  • Increasing levels of clinical responsibility to ensure that you can practice independently upon program completion
Radiation Oncology Clinical Medical Physics Residency


Radiation Oncology Clinical Medical Physics Residency

A Mayo Clinic radiation oncology medical physicist inspects a piece of equipment.

Your training experience

As a resident at Mayo Clinic, you'll have access to robust clinical, educational, and research resources. You'll find support both inside and outside of the campus to promote physical and mental wellness and ensure your work/life balance.

Nicholas Remmes, Ph.D.

Director's welcome

Our residency, like the practice of radiation oncology itself, is constantly evolving. The program reflects the collective experience of dozens of faculty over two decades as well as many suggestions from our 25+ alumni who are now board-certified and practicing clinically. Our faculty is dedicated to training every resident to the highest standards.

Frequently asked questions

What is the relationship between physicists and other staff in the department?

The process of treating patients in radiation oncology is one that requires many different people with different specialties. A team approach to all aspects of the department process is required to treat patients safely and effectively. The physics staff has good relationships with physicians, physicists, dosimetrists, and therapists. All are encouraged to participate in discussions relating to patient treatment and give each other feedback when needed. Physics residents are valued for their insights and clear communication when working in the department.

How is the work-life balance for residents here?

Residents are expected to be in the office from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. In addition to this, they're assigned to share monthly machine QA duties with a staff physicist for one machine. Patient-specific quality assurance is not performed by physics residents, minimizing the number of evenings when residents are required to stay late. While some rotations are busier than others, there is room for research, hobbies, and family life during residency.

Are there opportunities to commission new technologies?

Because the Department of Radiation Oncology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, is very large, there are many opportunities to commission new technologies. Residents commission new linear accelerators, high dose rate afterloaders, and dosimetry equipment both at the main Rochester campus as well as at smaller regional clinics. Past residents have participated in commissioning for a Gamma Knife Icon system, Varian TrueBeam linear accelerators, Varian Ethos linear accelerators, Varian Bravos HDR afterloader, and other clinical equipment. Residents are often included in commissioning of the latest technologies that are trying to be implemented in the clinic.


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


Radiation Oncology Clinical Medical Physics Residents are eligible to enter the board certification process upon matriculating into the residency. Graduates are expected to take the complete examination series offered by the American Board of Radiology.

Program history

The medical physics training program began in 1996. This program was one of the first clinical residency programs to be accredited by CAMPEP (2003). We have always actively pursued applicants who strive to contribute to medical physics beyond their clinical responsibilities. Currently, up to three residents complete this program annually.

More from Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education

Mayo Clinic resident checking heartbeat of teen patient

Choosing Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic campus in Rochester, Minnesota.
Campus and community

Rochester, MN

Group of consultant, nurse, and residents discussing case in hallway at Mayo Clinic.

Stipend and benefits