Medical Physics Residency Program Application Process
The admissions process follows a formalized procedure under the direction of the resident selection committee, which consists of an application review committee and an interview committee. The top candidates are identified on the basis of their application and are brought in for an on-site one-day interview. Typically, ten applicants per open position are interviewed. It should be noted that due to COVID-19, the onsite interview may be replaced with virtual interview using video conferencing.
For our first resident admission, it will not be possible to meet the deadlines required to participate in the national Medical Physics Matching Program (MedPhys Match) therefore this will be done outside the process. For future admissions however, the John Theurer Cancer Center program will participate in the MedPhys Match in the selection of its residents. The MedPhys Match is endorsed and sponsored by The American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) and the Society of Directors of Academic Medical Physics Programs (SDAMPP). It provides an orderly process to help applicants obtain positions in medical physics residency programs of their choice, and to help programs obtain applicants of their choice. As such there are key deadlines related to the application process outlined on the match website and communicated to the participating applicants and Institutions. The MedPhys Match is carried out by the National Matching Service Inc. The match was first implemented in the residency year beginning in 2015. It is important to underscore that the application and interview process essentially remains unchanged in that applicants must apply to the programs of their choice and both applicants and Institutions interview and evaluate each other independently of the MedPhys Match.
The application and interview process begins with the listing of the position (see below). Approximately one week following the deadline for submissions, the applications are reviewed by the application review committee consisting of the program director and at least all the Therapy Physicists faculty from the steering committee. Applications are divided into groups and each group is scored by at least three faculties. A rank list is created and the top twenty ranked applicants are discussed in a meeting of the review committee. A final decision is reached on which applicants will be invited to an interview. This process requires two meetings of about one and a half hours each.
In line with our pre-requisites and program goals and objectives, we select applicants who have graduated from a CAMPEP accredited program and in addition, based on the strength of their academic records, desire to pursue a career in clinical medical physics and the potential to become leaders in the field. Prior clinical experience factors into the decision but is not a requirement. Admission policies are non-discriminatory. Generally, ten candidates are interviewed per open position, which is approximately the same rate as in the physician residency program.
Candidates are notified of our decision approximately four weeks before the interview day. An information package is mailed to each candidate that includes flight and hotel information as well as other logistics. Consistent with other physics and physician residency programs, candidates are expected to pay their own travel and accommodation expenses. Prior to the day of the interview, several members of the physics section host an informal evening get together with the available interviewees. We again note that due to COVID-19, there is a possibility that for our first recruitment, onsite interviews will be replaced by video conference.
No more than 10 interviewees are invited for one open residency slot each year. The interviews are conducted in one day. The interview process consists of the following:
- An introductory breakfast with words of welcome from the Director of the Division of Medical Physics, Dr. Ndlovu; and an overview of the department and program given by the program director.
- Interviews with the members of the interview committee (about 20 minutes each).
- Lunch provided by the department
- Snap presentations by candidates of their research and/or clinical work (10 minutes each) during lunch and another extended break.
Immediately following the interviews, the committee meets to review candidates. The program director reiterates the emphasis of candidate selection. The candidates are then ranked. In the event that there is significant variability in the ranking with no clear consensus as to the top picks, the review committee will re-adjourn and deliberate further. The candidates’ submitted references may be contacted at this point if deemed necessary. Given that we will not be using MedPhys matching service this year, we will select and extend an offer to the top ranked candidate.
All admission records will be kept. These include:
- Graduate degrees (graduate name, university, year, and degree),
- Transcripts containing grade point averages,
- Letters of recommendation.
Current Application Review Committee:
Joe Barbiere, MS; Alex Kapulsky, PhD; John Napoli, MS; Alois Ndlovu, PhD; Igor Rebo, PhD; Roland Teboh Forbang, PhD
Current Interview Committee:
Members of the application review committee plus one of the faculty physician members of the steering committee (Anthony Ingenito, MD or Brett Lewis, MD, PhD)
Tentative admission timeline for the next recruitment cycle
The entire application process requires about 3 months. Below is a tentative timeline for the next recruitment cycle for the resident starting in July 2021. We will not participate in the MedPhys Match service this cycle. Therefore, our dates will be affected based on the response from CAMPEP regarding accreditation. We will wait for CAMPEP accreditation before posting the position.
June 25, 2021
Position posted on: AAPM online placement service, Physics Today, HUMC website
July 25, 2021
Deadline for applications
August 1, 2021
Complete initial ranking of applications. Each application is reviewed by at least 3 members of the Application Review Committee. The program director and director of medical physics will review all applications. Each application is scored and ranked on a spreadsheet.
August 5, 2021
Meeting to rank final top ten candidates. Goal: invite 10 applicants per spot (consistent with physician residency recruiting).
August 9, 2021
Rejection/invitation emails sent out
August 23, 2021
Interview day via video conference. Morning welcome session and overview. Interviews by 6 physics faculty/staff and one Physician faculty. Snap 10 min presentations by each interviewee during lunch time and one extended break. Wrap-up meeting at the end of the day. Compare and tally interviewers’ rankings.
August 25, 2021
References contacted as needed.
August 29, 2021
Meeting of interview faculty. Final ranking agreed upon and communicated to the selected candidate, first by phone & email. Response needed in a week’s time for a start date of
October 1, 2021
Applicants are recruited through advertisements placed in the following venues:
- AAPM online placement service
- Physics Today
- HUMC website
The John Theurer Cancer Center (JTCC) of Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC), Department of Radiation Oncology is accepting applications for its CAMPEP accredited medical physics residency program. The residency is a two-year program designed to provide strong competency in clinical medical physics. Residents entering a medical physics residency educational program shall have a strong foundation in basic physics. This shall be demonstrated either by an undergraduate or graduate degree in physics, or by a degree in an engineering discipline or another of the physical sciences and with coursework that is the equivalent of a minor in physics (i.e., one that includes at least three upper-level undergraduate physics courses that would be required for a physics major). Applicants should therefore have a Masters or PhD in medical physics, experimental physics, biophysics, or related discipline and must have graduated from a CAMPEP accredited graduate or certificate program. The JTCC program participates in the Medical Physics Residency Application Program (MP – RAP) however, that is not the case this year. Applicants are thus urged to submit their application directly to Human Resources. The application must include the following:
- Applicant’s CV
- Copy of degrees and Transcripts of Graduate Education
- Recommendation Letters from 3 references emailed directly to JTCC-MPResidency@hmhn.org. Include the applicant’s name in the email subject line.
Application deadline: July 25, 2021 – All application materials must be received by this date.