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Radiation Oncology

Pathway Director

Lydia Komarnicky, M.D.  

Drexel Fourth Year Discipline Based Pathway System

Pathway Director's Advice On Commonly Asked Questions

How important is it for a student to have completed some type of research to match in this specialty? When should the research be done? Does it have to be specialty specific?

Having completed a research project in the field is very helpful, even though it is not an absolute requirement.

Are research opportunities available in your department?


Are shadowing opportunities available?


Are away rotations essential to a successful match in your specialty?


What are the most important qualities or character traits for a person in this field?

Dedication and compassion.

What are career opportunities after training?

As of now, there are good opportunites in clinical and research tracks.

What can students do in the 1st adn 2nd years to explore and/or prepare for this career?

Look for research projects in the field and explore shadowing opportunities.

How would you describe the career-life balance for this specialty?


What resources would you recommend for students interest in learning more about this field?

American Society of Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) and American College of Radiology (ACR) websites have links to medical students interested in this field.

Additional advice.

Plan early to schedule 1-2 away rotations.

Go to the Drexel Careers Development Center for information on residency planning, match results, FREIDA (lists of residency training programs across the country) and more.

Drexel and Clinical Site Residency Programs

Drexel Medical Student Interest Group

Radiation Oncology Interest Group: drexelmedradonc@gmail.com

Specialty Description

A radiation oncologist is a doctor who deals with the therapeutic applications of radiant energy and its modifiers, and the study and management of disease, especially malignant tumors. (Source: The American Board of Medical Specialties. Guide to Physician Specialties. Evanston, IL: American Board of Medical Specialties; February 2008.)

Time Requirement

See ACGME for current requirements: http://www.acgme.org/acWebsite/home/home.asp
The residency training program for radiation oncology is five years.

National Organizations

The national specialty organizations can provide medical students with excellent resources as well as updates on current activities within the field, conferences, and on-going research opportunities and research funding.


Residency Application and Match Info*

  National Statistic DUCoM
Average Application Count by Specialty (2017)** 39.1 54.2
Mean Number of programs ranked in matched specialty (2014-2016)*** 9.7 9.2
Application Services ERAS  
Matching Program

Drexel Match Data -- 2010 - 2011 - 2012 - 2013 - 2014 - 2015 - 2016 - 2017 - 2019

*The number of applications and programs ranked will vary based on many factors. Students should seek advice from their Pathway Advisor and/or their Student Affairs Career Advisor in conjunction with the data above.
**Data drawn from ERAS data
*** Data drawn from NRMP Characterstics of Matched Seniors

AAMC - Careers in Medicine

General Information: http://www.aamc.org/students/cim/pub_radoncology.htm
(Log in for more helpful data to include: Personal Characteristics / Match data / Residency Requirements / Workforce Statistics / Compensation)

Specialty Specific Opportunities

For external research, volunteering, educational, and other opportunities check the Career Development Center's pages on Research and Community, Educational, and Externship Opportunities. Most of these opportunities are summer programs however some are available throughout the year.