Ann Morris, M.D.
Board Certification: Therapeutic Radiology ABR
Medical School: University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
Residency: University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
Faculty Rank: Assistant Professor
Special Clinical/Research Interests:Gynecological Cancers, Breast Cancer, Medical Education, Simulation, Educational Assessment, Palliative Care, Health Disparities
Is there a particular population of students (e.g., ethnicity, spiritual, sexual orientation) that you would particularly like to advise?
What does a typical day in the life of a radiation oncologist include?
Radiation oncology is primarily an outpatient specialty. In clinic, we participate in:
- Consults with new cancer patients who may benefit from radiation therapy, either to attempt a cure or to palliate symptoms
- Radiation treatment planning
- Multidisciplinary tumor boards
- Monitoring of patients who are currently receiving radiation therapy for acute side effects
- Enrollment of patients in relevant clinical trials
- Long term follow-up of patients in order to manage late toxicities and monitor for evidence of recurrence
What is the biggest challenge of being a radiation oncologist?
Oncology is a rapidly changing field with many gray areas. In addition, it requires an extensive depth and breadth of knowledge, as radiation oncologists treat all ages and nearly every organ system in the body.
How do you foresee radiation oncology changing over the next 20 years?
As our knowledge of cancer biology increases, cancer treatment will likely become more personalized and targeted with less toxicity and shorter treatment courses.
What advice would you give a student who is considering a radiation oncology residency?
Start early. Most medical students don't learn about radiation oncology in their core curriculum, so it behooves you to get involved as soon as possible. Find a mentor in the specialty, start shadowing in the clinic, learn the vocabulary, get involved in radiation-related research and present/publish your results.