I chose to come to Henry Ford after I saw that the resident group here was the happiest that I experienced on the interview trail. This program provides an excellent quality of life second to none while still maintaining an environment of rigorous clinical training. I have enjoyed rotating through a variety of disease sites as well as gaining experience on our newly installed MR-guided ViewRay. I am also looking forward to moving across the street to our new cancer center when that opens in Jan 2020.
My name is Eric Schaff and I'm currently a PGY-3 here at Henry Ford. I grew up about an hour outside of Detroit and went to Michigan State for medical school. I knew that I wanted to train here after coming for interview day. I remember the interview trail being very stressful and at times very intimidating, but I showed up here for interview day I immediately felt comfortable. Everyone in our department including residents, clinical staff, physics, dosimetry, attendings, and administration are all very helpful and I couldn't ask for a better work culture. We get great training in all our disease sites and have brought in exciting new technology such as the ViewRay of which we will have our second in the new cancer center when it opens in January. Detroit has all the things you would expect from a city including all the major sports teams, great restaurants, bars, breweries, and outdoor recreation in the surrounding area. I love to backpack, mountain bike, ski, paddle board, kayak, and I'm able to do all of those things within a short drive from the city. Overall, I have been very happy with both the program and the city and feel lucky to be here.
Henry Ford's Radiation Oncology residency training program is extremely appealing to me for many reasons. Among the most prevalent is the fact that each attending provider is deeply involved in furthering resident knowledge of the field while also being very enjoyable to work with. Furthermore, the clinic work schedule is very conducive to providing ample clinical training opportunities while still providing time for furthering of education through reading relevant texts and preparing for program didactics/lectures. Lastly, the program is further strengthened by the fact that it affords its residents the opportunity to see a large patient variety; this can be contributed to the program being based in the downtown Detroit area. Detroit is not only a great place to work for that reason, but the rich history of the city coupled with its improved nightlife activities make it an enjoyable location to live/visit as well.
For me, what makes or breaks a residency program is largely the people within the department. If you're going to spend four years of your life getting the critical training for a career ahead, you want to make sure that you're doing so in an environment that fully supports you. Everybody from the therapists to the medical physics team to the department chair works well together and supports the residents throughout the training process. One of the program's greatest assets is the program director, Dr. Shah, who works closely with the residents to best facilitate learning.
Schedules rotate through all organ sites, and residents have the opportunity to shape their own schedule with research and electives. Being a referral center in Detroit, we have the opportunity to see a variety of pathologies in a diverse patient population. We not only have the bread and butter cases necessary to train for competency in the community practice but also have a robust radiosurgery practice in addition to the shiny new MRI-guided linear accelerator. And of course, no mention of shiny things would be complete without mentioning the new Brigitte Harris Cancer Pavilion scheduled to open in January 2021. There, we will have the opportunity of working closely with our colleagues in medical and surgical oncology--and have above ground offices!
I consider myself very fortunate to have the opportunity of doing my training at Henry Ford. With supportive and approachable attending staff as well as a wide array of patient and disease diversity, I would highly recommend the Henry Ford Radiation Oncology program to anybody interested in pursuing a career in the field.
"I really enjoy training at the Henry Ford Hospital program. The clinical experience has been great, as we are exposed to a wide variety of pathologies in the clinic which is busy but not overwhelming. Attendings are flexible in terms of giving us appropriate degrees of autonomy based on our levels of training. In addition, there are plenty of research opportunities available in clinical, physics and rad bio projects, with some unique areas such as MR-guided RT, artificial intelligence, and gene therapy. More importantly, the department feels like a family where everyone is very approachable. Detroit is a fun city too with lots of things to explore depending on your interest. Overall, I am very happy with doing my residency here."
I was first introduced to the Henry Ford Hospital Department of Radiation Oncology as an interested third year medical student and I've never looked back! The support and mentorship I received was incredible and when it came time to apply for residency, I could not imagine myself anywhere else.
As a resident, I have received a well-rounded, rigorous, yet extremely manageable training in all body sites. Our department is a leader in many exciting treatment modalities, such as the ViewRay MR-Linac, the Varian Edge and our own MRI-simulator. As a PGY-5, I am confident in my ability to treat with many treatment techniques, including SRS, SBRT, IGRT, MR-guided RT, GYN and GU brachytherapy, and much more. Additionally, I have had the opportunity to get involved in multiple innovative research projects, including investigating artificial intelligence as a tool for radiation planning and the benefits of MR-guided radiation therapy. We also enjoy a rigorous gynecologic-oncology program with many research and publication opportunities.
Centered in the heart of midtown Detroit, we see a diverse and vibrant patient population. While a significant portion of our patient volume is from the surrounding urban communities, we also have opportunities to rotate in our satellite centers to gain experience in community-like settings.
The Detroit region is a fun and easy place to live. Traffic is usually light and there are great living options, from cute midtown districts to great suburban areas with college-like atmospheres. The cost of living is low, yet we still enjoy all the benefits of living in a major city.
Applying to the Henry Ford radiation oncology program was one of the best decisions I ever made. I am confident it will be for you as well.