BATON ROUGE, La. – A regional consortium of cancer care organizations has announced its 2023 medical physics residency training program graduates, which includes Atdhe Beqiri, M.S., Ericka Chorniak, M.S., Kevin Han, M.S., and Christina Poduska, M.S.
To address a nationwide shortage of medical physicists, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center established a medical physics residency training consortium in 2009. The group received accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Educational Programs in 2012 and currently includes training sites at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, Willis-Knighton Cancer Center in Shreveport, La., and the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Miss. The program allows for the significant expansion of residency training opportunities and created one of the largest programs in the United States.
Beqiri, Chorniak, Han, and Poduska received their certificates of completion during a ceremony held at the University of Mississippi Medical Center on June 2. Including this year’s consortium class, 49 residents have completed the program. Those graduates have experienced a one-hundred percent job placement rate and have had success in completing their board certification examinations.
“Year after year, this consortium has produced the next generation of leaders in the field of medical physics,” said Sotiri Stathakis, Ph.D., DABR, FAAPM, Dr. Charles M. Smith chief of physics, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. “Having these innovative minds participate in research at the Cancer Center has proved beneficial in the advancement of cancer treatment. This year’s class is similarly destined for success here at Mary Bird Perkins and across the country.”
Beqiri joined the residency program at Mary Bird Perkins after receiving a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of Prishtina in Kosovo, a Bachelor of Art in Interdisciplinary Studies in Medical and Computational Physics from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, and his Master of Science in Medical Physics from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. Beqiri will return to Florida for his post-graduate work at Genesis Care in Fort Lauderdale.
Chorniak received a Bachelor of Arts in Physics Education and a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of Wyoming before completing her Master of Science in Medical Physics at Duke University. Ericka has accepted a position at Mary Bird Perkins and will continue her work within radiation oncology as a staff physicist.
Before joining the residency program Mary Bird Perkins, Han received a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Engineering from East Carolina University and a Master of Science in Medical Physics also from East Carolina University. Han will continue his career in medical physics at Providence Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital Cancer Care in Santa Rosa, California.
Poduska joined the residency program at the Cancer Center after receiving a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of Toledo and a Master of Science in Medical Physics from Cleveland State University. She has accepted a position with Atrium Health in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The Mary Bird Perkins Residency Consortium is the only established medical physics residency training program in Louisiana or Mississippi, which is required for eligibility for board certification from the American Board of Radiology.
About Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is a regional cancer care organization that has been fighting cancer for more than 50 years. The cancer care organization provides care at 10 centers in Baton Rouge, Covington, Gonzales, Hammond, Houma, Opelousas, Slidell, and Natchez, Mississippi, and its service area encompasses southeast Louisiana and southwest Mississippi regions. Mary Bird Perkins has a strategic affiliation with OneOncology and the largest radiation and medical oncology groups from across the area including exclusive partnerships with Southeastern Louisiana Radiation Oncology Group, which provides radiation therapy throughout Mary Bird Perkins’ service areas, Northshore Oncology Associates, serving St. Tammany and Washington Parishes, specifically the communities of Covington and Slidell and Louisiana Hematology Oncology Associates, which services the Greater Baton Rouge area. For more information, please visit www.marybird.org.