Applications and the Interview Process
The admission process
An electronic packet describing the program including application materials is sent to each prospective resident. This packet includes information that describes the program, AAPM material such as "The Medical Physicist", The roles, responsibilities and status of the clinical medical physicist as well as a copy of AAPM report No. 90, "Essential and guidelines for hospital-based medical physics training programs." The application materials consist of an application form and an instruction document.
The program description includes a description of the medical physics residency program, including admission standards, including the requirement of a strong foundation in physics, sufficient to qualify the resident, in part, to take part I of the ABR boards. The program requires a Ph.D. in physics, medical physics, engineering or science with physics training equivalent to a minor in physics. Since this is a three year program with the first year devoted to research, didactic training in medical physics is mostly accomplished in the first year, although some courses are given biennially and, hence, may be taken in the second year. Therefore, this program can accommodate applicants with no medical physics experience without compromising CAMPEP requirements for their clinical training. Time is allowed for the residents to attend classes for their didactic training. With the exception of the radiobiology course, all courses are given at a specific site. The radiobiology course, primarily given to the medical residents, is teleconferenced across town.
An applicant responds to the advertisement of the positions by submitting a completed application form, degree transcripts and a statement of interest to the program's email address. The program coordinator, Ms. Christine Shea (MGH) creates a folder for each applicant and stores all the documents for the applicant, including emails, in that folder. She will keep track of the documents and send a note to the applicants if any information is missing. Once a folder is complete, it is transferred to a Sharepoint site, which is accessible to the executive committee members from BWH and MGH who will be selecting the candidates. The four executive committee members review the list of candidates (averaging 65 over the past years) and meet to discuss their choices and select the top twelve candidates. The folders of these twelve candidates are sent to the oversight committee and based on the overall recommendation of the executive and oversight committees, up to six candidates are selected for interview.
Candidates are informed when their application is complete. Candidates who do not make the top twelve list are informed of the decision once it is made. Once the candidates for interview are chosen, the remainder of the twelve candidates is informed of the decision. After the interviews, the successful two candidates and the others are informed of the committee's decision at the same time.
Advertising the program is carried out through three channels. Firstly, the residency positions are advertised on the AAPM website under 'Residency Ads' in the 'Placement and Committee Ads' Section. Secondly, the positions are advertised on-line in 'Physics Today.' The purpose of advertising in Physics Today is to attract candidates from areas of physics other than Medical Physics. We attract a substantial number of high quality applicants through this channel. Thirdly, the residency positions are advertized on the medical physics listserver.
Timetable for 2012-2013 candidate selection
The program will begin advertising on October 1, 2012 with an application deadline of December 1, 2012. The interviews will take place February 7 and 8, 2013 at the Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). The format is that the candidates will make a 20 min presentation on any topic of their choice, followed by interviews with the faculty at the BWH on February 7, beginning shortly after noon. The process is repeated at MGH the following day starting at 9:00 am.