Thomas Jefferson University

Medical Students

Clinical Experience

The Thomas Jefferson University Department of Radiation Oncology welcomes fourth-year medical students interested in a four-week rotation. The goal of this four-week clinical rotation is for medical students to learn the fundamentals of radiation oncology. Students can use this rotation as an opportunity to explore the specialty as a possible career choice. Students interested in gaining a deeper understanding of oncology care but not planning to pursue radiation oncology will find this course useful to understand radiation oncology as a specialty, and therefore better be able to coordinate and deliver optimal multi-disciplinary care and counsel future patients. 

Located in an NCI-designated cancer center, our fourth-year, four-week rotation consists of the medical student being assigned to one faculty member each day, with whom he or she will see patients in clinic. During the clerkship, students will be expected to work-up patients, perform physical exams and present cases to faculty. Students will be exposed to treatment planning, simulations and treatment deliveries throughout the rotation. 

Students will participate in a formal didactic curriculum, which includes lectures on radiation and radiation emergency fundamentals. Students also attend resident and department conferences as available during the clerkship. Additionally, students complete hands-on treatment planning and contouring with a faculty or resident preceptor, and will interact with a strong medical physics program on a regular basis.

Strengths of our training program include:

  • Wide range of cutting-edge technology
  • Rotation at St. Jude’s Hospital to provide pediatric oncologic experience
  • Multi-disciplinary clinics
  • Numerous educational conferences and research opportunities

Click here for an example of a typical medical student rotation in our department. 

The medical student experience is very important to us and we strive to help the student learn as much as possible during this 4-week rotation. Most of our 4th-year students are searching for experience and guidance as they choose residency programs. Prior to the start of the rotation, students meet with Dr. Lydia Komarnicky, Radiation Oncology Residency Program Director and Medical Student Clerkship Director, and our resident Medical Student Liaison, Dr. Victor Chen to help guide them in this process. During the rotation reading material may be assigned by the attending and a topic agreed upon for a 15-minute presentation at the end of the rotation. Before the student completes the rotation, they will meet with Dr. Komarnicky for any further questions.

Students may also seek out opportunities through the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).

Please contact our Education Coordinator, Phyllis Lewis via e-mail or at (215) 955-5669 for information and scheduling. 

Shadowing Experience

Medical students are welcome to visit the department to shadow with one of our physicians for a full or half day. Please contact our Education Coordinator, Phyllis Lewis via e-mail or at (215) 955-5669.

Research Experience

Students are encouraged to participate in a clinical or basic science research project.  Projects are chosen and supervised by the clerkship director or other department faculty. We aim to tailor research experiences toward the particular interests of each student.

We participate in the National Residency Match Program and utilize the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).

Department of
Radiation Oncology

111 S. 11th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Lydia Komarnicky, MD

Letter from Lydia Komarnicky, MD

Professor of Radiation Oncology

Medical Residency Program Director

Medical Student Education Clerkship Program Director

Phyllis Lewis
Education Coordinator, Department of Radiation Oncology

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