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Education & Training Research

Our faculty as a whole are committed to the education and training of the radiation oncologists and medical physicists of tomorrow.  Multiple faculty serve in leadership roles in the School of Medicine and are involved with education of medical students.

Our committed to education extends beyond teaching to optimizing education via research. Our goal is to develop and test new tools to improve education.


RMAS researchers are founders of eContour, a novel open-access web-based interactive contouring resource that aims to facilitate point-of-care decision support based on available evidence-based radiation treatment guidelines.

Our mission is to improve the quality of radiation delivery to optimize outcomes in the era of highly conformal treatments (including IMRT, SBRT, and SRS.


Building on the eContour Platform (with 10,000+ users worldwide), our group is developing and testing innovative simulation-based training tools which provide immediate feedback on contour quality to practicing radiation oncologists. This work is the focus of a recent 5-year, $1.94M Grant from the Agency for Health Research & Quality (AHRQ).

Goals of this grant include: 1) to develop of a novel free online comprehensive interactive simulation to improve contouring quality, 2) to create a focused mobile contouring application and incorporate components of gamification and social media to increase user engagement, and 3) to conduct a multi-arm randomized trial among practicing radiation oncologists to determine the optimal contour simulation strategy to improve real life patient contours.

To learn more about our E-Contouring Education Research, check out the following faculty research labs:


Moore Lab

Moore Lab

Murphy Lab

Murphy Lab


OPTIMUS (Outreach Program to Inspire Minority and Underrepresented Students) is a cancer research internship aimed at inspiring underrepresented minority students to pursue careers in clinical oncology and biomedical research. The students spend most of their time in research labs, but also shadow a few of our faculty in the clinic.

RMAS Faculty Jim Murphy MD serves as Faculty Lead of the program.

Channel 8 Video


To learn more about the OPTIMUS Program, check out the following faculty research labs:


Murphy Lab

Murphy Lab

Medical Physics Education & Training

Our Department is strongly committed to transforming the role of the medical physicist. An important part of this transformation is for physicists to establish an independent relationship with patients undergoing radiotherapy, a role that they have not previously had. However, to be successful in this new role, medical physicists will require training in patient interactions.


Our group is focused on the development and testing of tools/approaches to be used in optimizing physicist-patient communication.  Recently, we have established a Physicist Direct Patient Care Workshop held at UC San Diego complete focused on interacting with patients under the direction of Derek Brown PhD.  To evaluate its benefit, we perform pre- and post-Workship testing.

Other initiatives include the development of on-line Language Neutral Pictorial Instruction for practicing medical physicists and residents to be used throughout the world, particularly in the developing world.  This initiative also includes an on-line educational module focused on Case-Based Medical Physics Education.

To learn more about how we are transforming medical physics education and careers, check out the Systems Engineering and Design Program.