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Radiation Oncology (Florida)


During the radiation oncology elective, students work directly with staff consultants in radiation oncology at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville. You will become familiar with a variety of malignant diseases during the clerkship and participate in the initial evaluation, treatment planning, management, and follow-up care of the patients.

Specific goals

  1. To gain an understanding of the general principles of oncology, including:
    • Basic scientific principles of neoplasia
    • Clinical presentation, diagnosis, workup, and staging of various cancers
    • Multidisciplinary treatment decisions and guidelines
    • Principles of surgery, systemic therapy, and radiation therapy
    • Supportive medical care and palliative care of cancer patients
  2. To participate in all aspects of patient care for patients treated with radiation therapy:
    • General evaluation and examination
    • Formulate treatment recommendations
    • Participate in the simulation and planning of radiation therapy
    • Participate in the care of patients during and following the completion of radiation therapy
  3. Improve communication skills with patients and their families:
    • Discuss prognosis and goals of care in settings ranging from curable to terminal cancers
    • Assist in management and symptom control for patients under treatment
  4. Become familiar with the basic concepts of radiation physics, biology, and radiation safety

Activity outline

You will work directly with faculty in the outpatient radiation oncology clinic. Students perform history and physical examinations on patients; then present the case, laboratory data, and x-rays to the attending radiation oncologist. During the clerkship, you will assist the radiation oncologist in developing treatment recommendations, simulating the radiation fields, and participating in the design of the radiation therapy plan.

You will participate in oncology conferences within the department as well as multidisciplinary tumor boards. You also have the opportunity to participate in special procedures such as brachytherapy, stereotactic body radiotherapy, and Gamma knife intracranial radiation therapy. As a radiation oncology student, you also have the option to participate or assist in research projects. If you are interested in a research project, you will be assigned a research mentor for collaboration. You will not take call.

Method of evaluation

Staff members who work with students provide evaluations. You can achieve a grade of honors by performing outstanding work in patient evaluation, workup, and plan formalization.