Medical Student Rotations

As a leader in Radiation Oncology education on the medical student level, Boston Medical Center (BMC) Radiation Oncology is a popular site for clinical rotations during the 3rd and 4th year of study at Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine. We offer two electives in the Cancer Education and Research Program: Clinical Radiation Oncology and Clinical Cancer Research. First-year and second-year medical students may also rotate through our department in the Introduction to Clinical Medicine course. Visiting medical students can schedule rotations here through the Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine Registrar’s Office.

Students are given the opportunity to perfect their ability to take a history and perform thorough physical examinations. They also learn about the natural history of select cancers. Our attendings and residents provide didactic guidance throughout this experience. Students are encouraged to learn how we design radiation treatments and are able to spend time in the radiation physics section working on radiation plans. Students may also spend time at the treatment machines to observe the delivery of radiation therapy. Students are afforded the opportunity to give a presentation to the department on a topic of their choice related to radiation therapy at the end the rotation.


Medical Student Research

BMC has various exciting research opportunities at both BMC and MGH for students with a strong interest in oncology. Students can take on retrospective analyses of clinical data or spend time in basic research related to the repair of DNA damage (which focuses on genes such as p53, BRCA1, BRCA2, Chk2, ATR, and Fanconi Anemia). BMC also offers exciting opportunities for medical students to participate in physics-based or education-based projects.

Students have been very successful in their research endeavors, including presenting their work at various national meetings such as ASTRO, RSNA and ASCO. Additionally, they have won numerous research awards. Examples include the RSNA Trainee Research Award, the Best Student Abstract at the Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine Medical Education Day, Medical Student Summer Research Fellowships, the Aid for Cancer Research Fellowship, Second Place at the Massachusetts Medical Society Annual Research Symposium for Students, Residents and Fellows, and the Anne & David Mishel Cancer Research Award.

Harvard Radiation Oncology Program

Boston Medical Center is one of the teaching institutions integral to the Harvard Radiation Oncology Program (HROP), along with MGH, BWH, BIDMC, DFCI, & Children’s Hospital. All of the HROP residents rotate through our department at least once before graduation for three-month long clinical rotations. Residents appreciate the diverse patient population and the often unusual spectrum of tumors and clinical issues they encounter at BMC. While here, the residents make presentations for at least one tumor board and give at least one Morbidity & Mortality (M&M) conference. Residents can also participate in BMC-driven research projects during their rotations.