IU School of Medicine



The radiation oncology elective gives the student an opportunity to work closely with radiation oncologists to learn the examination, data gathering and clinical decision-making skills used to diagnose and manage cancer patients. There is an emphasis on how available treatment options for cancer are developed, tested and translated to the clinic. The rotation highlights real world application of evidenced based medicine, critical analysis of the literature and nuanced interpretation of studies to formulate individual treatment plans for patients. Students will participate in multi-disciplinary tumor boards and departmental educational conferences. The rotation also provides students an opportunity to better understand the medical and psycho-social challenges encountered by patients facing a serious illness with uncertain outcomes. Students will gain a basic understanding of the scientific and technological basis of radiation therapy, and the day to day challenges of delivering treatments. The student will also learn how radiation biology and radiation physics are integrated into clinical practice. This is a clinically-oriented elective and students are expected to function at the level of an 'acting intern'. Students will be expected to interview patients, gather clinical data, formulate a basic plan and present cases to attending and resident physicians. Each student is required to deliver an end of rotation lecture on a topic related to cancer with an emphasis on use of primary literature to solve a clinical or basic science question. Students will also be assigned a computer lab to practice skills in identifying radiographic anatomic correlations. Alternative study focused on an approved faculty mentored research project is also possible.

Elective Details:

Primary Contact for Add/Drops:

Evern Amos (evamos@iupui.edu)

Director: Mark Langer, M.D.

Campus: Indianapolis

Location: Department of Radiation Oncology - IU School of Medicine, IU Health Melvin & Bren Simon Cancer Center, Roudebush VA Medical Center, IU Health Methodist Hospital (Indianapolis)

Learning Objectives

    1. Develop patient interview and data gathering skills specific to the care of oncology patients. (PC1)
    2. Identify clinical and radiographic signs and symptoms of tumor involvement.(MK3)
    3. Identify and describe anatomic regions of the head and neck.(MK1)
    4. Demonstrate radiographic identification of regional anatomy using texts, assigned literature and web based tools.(MK1)
    5. Demonstrate segmentation on a series of transaxial CT slices on an index case of defined anatomic compartments using text and literature based definitions, illustrated sample examples, and CD study aids to identify bounding normal structures.(MK1)
    6. Present a talk that addresses an oncologic question using primary source literature- The question may relate to clinical or basic science. (ISC5)


  • Clinical Performance Evaluation Form

    1. Contouring case study set- student will contour on a sample case using radiographic atlases, and validity will be checked by course director.
    2. Student will present a case to faculty and accuracy of assessments and validity of conclusions will be evaluated.
    3. Course director will attend talk or review slides and appropriateness of slides to objective of using primary literature to address a focused question will be judged on criteria A) whether the student identifies an oncologic question that can be operationally answered B) whether there is evidence that primary literature data bases were consulted to address the question C) whether the analysis of the literature with respect to the question was accurate and relevant D) whether the display of the analysis was informative and efficient.

Enrollment Information


3rd or 4th year status; interest in oncology

Availability with Max Students per Month:


Duty Hours: 40

Time Distribution: 75% Clinical; 15% Didactic; 10% Radiographic anatomy computer lab

Elective Type Category: CP - Clinical Practice

Notes and Enrollment Information:

Add/Drop Contact Person: Evern Amos (evamos@iupui.edu) THIS COURSE MAY BE ADDED/DROPPED WITHIN 15 DAYS OF THE START DATE.

Third Year Elective? Yes

Interprofessional Skills and Service Learning

Interprofessional Collaborative Skills: None

Service Learning Included: None