Radiation Oncology programs across the country transitioned to Competency by Design as the method of training in 2019.
This system relies on frequent and immediate feedback to help trainees focus their needs during training. Residents complete 4 phases of training; Transition to Discipline, Foundations of Discipline, Core of Discipline and Transition to Practice, as they complete their training. Each year is divided into 13 – four – week blocks, with training taking an average of 5 years to complete. The residents first year is designed to provide residents with the basic clinical training needed to practice Radiation Oncology. The remaining 4 years focus primarily on Radiation Oncology, both inpatient and outpatient rotations, as well as related subspecialties, including 1 period of Diagnostic Radiology, 3 periods of Medical Oncology, and 1 period of Hematology/Oncology.
Most clinical rotations are based at the Ottawa Hospital, including the Ottawa Cancer Centre, at both the General Campus and the Irving Greenberg Cancer Centre, and at the children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. All trainees must complete at least 1 period of training during the PGY4 & PGY5 year at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, to enhance their knowledge and experience in Pediatric Radiation Oncology and one elective in a community hospital that delivers radiation oncology. Residents can arrange elective rotations at other referral centres or in the community, and all residents have an opportunity to participate in peripheral Radiation Oncology Clinics.
Graham Cook, MD, FRCPC
Program Director, Division of Radiation Oncology
Lecturer, University of Ottawa
Continuing Medical Education
The curriculum has been designed to produce well-rounded academic radiation oncologists. To achieve this, the program is comprised of four segments: general medicine and surgery, practice of oncology and radiation oncology, clinical/laboratory research, and basic sciences as it pertains to radiation oncology (radiobiology and radiation physics).
Competency by Design began July 1, 2019 and consists of 4 stages which have been designed to produce well-rounded academic radiation oncologists. To achieve this, the program is comprised of four segments: general medicine and surgery, practice of oncology and radiation oncology, clinical /laboratory research, and basic sciences as it pertains to radiation oncology (radiobiology and radiation physics). Each stage is flexible in duration, depending on the progress of the resident. The resident moves to the next stage upon evaluation and promotion by the Program’s Competency Committee
Residents enter via CaRMS – graduated of Canadian medical school or USA medical schools, as well as foreign medical schools outside North America (Canadian or landed visa).
For more information please refer the Postgraduate Medical Education website at or the CaRMS website.
Radiation Oncology also accepts foreign medical graduate, funded from their country of origin. Acceptable funding sources are strictly limited to government agencies or health related charitable organizations. The application process opens in July and runs until September each year. Those interested can find information as well as apply via the University of Ottawa Post Grad website.
Academic Half Days
Academic half-days are held every Wednesday in Conference Room A/BC from 1:00 - 5:00 pm.
Academic half-day has 3 different components:
Radiation Medicine Case Rounds(12:00 - 1:00 pm) - this provides radiation oncology and physics residents with an opportunity to review and present treatment planning cases.
Radiation Oncology Practice Rounds (1:00 - 2:30 pm) - this course typically runs over a two year period and aims to cover all pertinent sites of Radiation Oncology
Physics/Radiobiology (2:30 - 4:00 pm) - this session rotates annually with either a physics course or radiobiology course.Didactic lectures are given. Evaluations are done through assignments (34), a midterm quiz and final exam. Passing this exam is mandatory. Each resident will have the opportunity to take each course twice throughout their residency.
Treatment planning (4:00 - 5:00 pm) - these sessions are primarily run by residents with site-specific staff present for discussion/questions. Each week a different case is presented by a resident and the focus is on treatment planning issues (e.g patient set-up, treatment volumes, dose/fractionation, beams etc).
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