McMaster University

McMaster University

Radiation Oncology Residency Program

McMaster University postgraduate programs are integrated in cooperation with the affiliated teaching hospitals in Hamilton. Facilities used for the Radiation Oncology training program are: Juravinski Cancer Centre, Cancer Care Ontario and Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation

The Juravinski Cancer Centre has recently expanded to accommodate a 50% increased capacity. As of 2017, there are 25 radiation oncologists on staff, along with 14 medical oncologists, three gynecologic oncologists, and three surgical oncologists. The anticipated ratio of radiation oncology staff to residents ranges between 3:1 and 2:1. Individual staff radiation oncologists have a diversity of expertise in various areas, including but not limited to epidemiology, supportive care, alternative care, education, and diagnostic radiology. Residents have their own access to electronic medical resources.

For full details, please see CaRMS website

  • Resources
  • Curriculum
  • Quick Facts
  • Selection Criteria
  • Application Process
  • Contact Information

Together with McMaster University, the Juravinski Cancer Centre boasts the following resources:

  • Clinical Trials: a full member of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) affiliate member of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), active participant in National Cancer Institute of Canada - Clinical Trials Group (NCIC-CTG) and Ontario Clinical Oncology Group (OCOG) active participant in intergroup trials, industry trials, and in-house trials. Over 400 patients enrolled in trials annually as of April 1, 2002, over 1200 patients were on study.
  • Supportive Care: HRCC houses the Supportive Care Cancer Research Unit
  • Evidence-Based Medicine: Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University
  • Health Economics: Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis (CHEPA), McMaster University
  • Other: Positron Emission Tomography (PET scanner) - used for clinical investigation
  • Electronic medical resources: all residents have access to Meditech, OPIS, the internet and library videos.


  • There are opportunities for interprovincial and international electives while training in our program. Residents have arranged elective experiences at cancer centres elsewhere within Ontario, within Canada, in the United States, Europe and the Middle East.
  • The ratio of residents to faculty is 1:2
  • As the large majority of service is outpatient, the average patient load is not applicable. The average number of new patients seen in consultation monthly would range between 15 and 25.
  • There are no mandatory rural rotations. A three-month rotation at the NorthWestern Regional Cancer Centre in Thunder Bay is strongly encouraged during the springtime rotation of PGY-4 or during the summertime rotation of PGY-5 to enhance the residents' sense of independence and authority.
  • PGY-1 The first year consists of one block in Radiation Oncology to become acquainted with the Juravinski Cancer Centre (JCC) and its staff, four blocks of General Internal Medicine and single blocks of Emergency Medicine, Surgical Oncology Head and Neck, Surgical Oncology Thoracics, Gynaecologic Oncology, Urology, Palliative Care, Pathology and Diagnostic Imaging.
  • PGY-2 The second year includes clinical rotations in specialties directly related to the practice of Radiation Oncology, including Medical Oncology (3 blocks), Malignant Hematology, Neuro-Oncology, 3 elective blocks as well as five blocks of Radiation Oncology.   Trainees have some flexibility in the PGY-2 year to accommodate elective interests that relate to foundational training
  • PGY-3, 4 and 5 The remaining three years consists of training in radiation oncology, with rotations by oncologist (person based) rather than by disease site, giving a more directly supervised training of clinical and technical skills. A three to six month rotation may be dedicated to research activities. Shorter, one-month rotations in dosimetry, pathology, inpatient care and diagnostic radiology may occur. Rotations are generally two or three months long. All other three-month rotations from PGY-3 through PGY-5 are dedicated to radiation oncology.
  • The trainee will acquire clinical competence in the management of patients suffering from malignant disease. This will cover all aspects of training required, including radiotherapy, brachytherapy, conformal therapy, chemotherapy, gynecological oncology, general surgical oncology and pediatric oncology.
  • Research Residents are strongly encouraged to complete a project during the course of their training. This goal is coordinated through a personal research mentor. Refer to resources above for details of the diversity of research strengths available in Hamilton and through the radiation oncology staff.
  • Seminars Weekly academic half-days are arranged on a two year rotating schedule, coordinated between radiation oncology, medical oncology and clinical physics. The majority of sessions are problem-based, with an emphasis on epidemiology and critical appraisal. These are supplemented in several ways, including but not limited to numerous regularly scheduled tumour boards for various disease sites, weekly grand rounds, and regularly scheduled radiology seminars and rounds. Journal Club seminars occur 8 times per year and are based on critical appraisal. Each week there are two resident rounds, dealing with planning and general management respectively, coordinated for optimal interaction between radiation oncology residents and staff.


Quick Facts

  • The Juravinski Cancer Centre serves the Niagara Peninsula. 4,400 new cancer patients are seen annually and there are 90,000 visits to the outpatient clinic annually. The program is designed to ensure that the trainee acquires a broad understanding of human malignant disease, gains competence in general medical management of patients and special competence in radiation oncology with all aspects of the required training covered at the centre. Emphasis is placed on an evidence-based approach to oncology and clinical trails as the major method of improving treatment results

Selection Criteria

  • An acceptable academic record with proficiency in general medicine
  • An interest or prior experience in research (basic science or clinical)
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills

Application Process

Make application to the Program through the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS).

Contact Information

Program Director

Dr. Barb Strang
Department of Oncology - Division of Radiation Oncology
McMaster University

Juravinski Cancer Centre
3rd Floor
699 Concession Street
Hamilton, Ontario L8V 5C2

T: 905-387-9711, Ext. 64704
F: 905-575-6326

Program Assistant

Maria Campagnolo
Program Assistant
Juravinski Cancer Centre
699 Concession Street
Hamilton, Ontario L8V 5C2
T: 905-387-9711, Ext. 64628
E:Maria Campagnolo

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