History

 The first patient treated with a medical linear accelerator was treated at the CPMC Pacific Campus when it was known as the Stanford School of Medicine

The first patient treated with a medical linear accelerator was treated at the CPMC Pacific Campus when it was known as the Stanford School of Medicine


The California Pacific Medical Center...

is the flagship hospital and tertiary care center of the Northern California Sutter Health medical system - the second largest health system in California after the Kaiser Permanente group. It was formed in 1993 as the result of a merger between several of the oldest hospitals in San Francisco: Children’s Hospital, St. Luke’s Hospital, Presbyterian Hospital, and Franklin Hospital. Today they are respectively known as CPMC’s California Campus, St Luke’s Campus, Pacific Campus, and Davies Campus. 

The majority of the residency and fellowship programs at CPMC were founded and are headquartered at the Pacific Campus due to its history of being the Stanford School of Medicine from 1908-1959. Unlike these programs, our radiation oncology training program actually began at the University of California. 

In 1964, Dr. Jerome M. Vaeth, the director of the Zellerbach Tumor Institute at UCSF’s Mount Zion Hospital began a radiation oncology training program with the two other faculty members at Mount Zion: Dr. Jerold P. Green and Dr. Alan F. Schroder. When the faculty left Mount Zion in 1971 to staff the community hospitals of San Francisco, they wished to continue their tradition of teaching in their new centers. 

The doctors became known as the Northern California Radiation Therapy Group. While the training program was headquartered St. Mary’s Medical Center, residents would split their time evenly between the various hospitals of San Francisco. Dr. Vaeth would go on to become the president of the American Radium Society, found the San Francisco Cancer Symposium and write the book series Frontiers of Radiation Therapy and Oncology.

Dr. Vaeth headed the program from 1971 until his death in 1998 and Dr. John L. Meyer then took over as program director. He remained program director until 2006 when Dr. John W. Lee took over as program director.

The Northern California Radiation Therapy Group remains the only non-UCSF providers of radiation oncology services in San Francisco and Daly City with the exception of the Golden Gate Urology group who own a single linear accelerator. The group has one of the lowest faculty turnover rates in the country as all members have stayed with the group until retirement. While our faculty has expanded from three to eight members, we have kept the tradition of only training one resident a year.