History of the Program

The departments of radiation oncology at MGH and what was then the Joint Center for Radiation Therapy (JCRT), which was founded in 1968, have offered post-doctoral fellowships since 1999 and 1973 respectively. There is no formal degree granting program in medical physics either at the hospitals or at the University. However, the departments have been associated with other local universities in providing didactic courses in medical physics. Examples include physics undergraduate course at Northeastern University and graduate courses at MIT. Since the inception of the three departments, clinical training of medical physics was primarily offered through on-the-job training, supervised by staff medical physicists. Although not structured according to any national guidelines, the departments provided the opportunity and environment for physics graduates and post-doctoral fellows to obtain clinical experience through employment. Among the many alumni of this training at MGH include many luminaries of medical physics such as Michael Goitein, Clifton Ling, Lynn Verhey,Art Boyer, and Peter Biggs. Bengt Bjarngard came to the JCRT in 1969 and led a very active post-doctoral research program. Among the many accomplished alumni of this legacy include George Chen, Hanne Kooy, Norbert Pelc and James Galvin. The JCRT was dissolved in 1999 after the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) merged with the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) to form Partners Healthcare (since re-named Mass General Brigham). The post-doctoral programs continue at the BWH and MGH.

We started discussions on the formation of a medical physics residency program among the Harvard teaching hospitals in 2007. This would be the first multi-institutional medical physics residency program in the country.  A committee from the three major Harvard teaching hospitals was formed to start the CAMPEP accreditation process. Recruitment of the first class for the program began in February 2009, and the first residents began on July 1, 2009.

Our program was granted full CAMPEP accreditation in October, 2011, and was subsequently re-accredited in 2015 and 2020. We graduated the first class in June of 2012. Currently, we have 6 residents in training.