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Title: Academic Career Selection and Retention in Radiation Oncology: The Joint Center for Radiation Therapy Experience

Abstract

Purpose: The United States healthcare system has witnessed declining reimbursement and increasing documentation requirements for longer than 10 years. These have decreased the time available to academic faculty for teaching and mentorship. The impact of these changes on the career choices of residents is unknown. The purpose of this report was to determine whether changes have occurred during the past decade in the proportion of radiation oncology trainees from a single institution entering and staying in academic medicine. Methods and Materials: We performed a review of the resident employment experience of Harvard Joint Center for Radiation Therapy residents graduating during 13 recent consecutive years (n = 48 residents). The outcomes analyzed were the initial selection of an academic vs. nonacademic career and career changes during the first 3 years after graduation. Results: Of the 48 residents, 65% pursued an academic career immediately after graduation, and 44% remained in academics at the last follow-up, after a median of 6 years. A later graduation year was associated with a decrease in the proportion of graduates immediately entering academic medicine (odds ratio, 0.78; 95% confidence interval, 0.65-0.94). However, the retention rate at 3 years of those who did immediately enter academics increased withmore » a later graduation year (p = 0.03). Conclusion: During a period marked by notable changes in the academic healthcare environment, the proportion of graduating Harvard Joint Center for Radiation Therapy residents pursuing academic careers has been declining; however, despite this decline, the retention rates in academia have increased.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [4];  [3]
  1. Harvard Radiation Oncology Residency Program, Boston, MA (United States). E-mail: tbalboni@partners.org
  2. Department of Statistics, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT (United States)
  3. Department of Radiation Oncology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (United States)
  4. Department of Radiation Oncology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20951631
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics; Journal Volume: 68; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: DOI: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2006.11.044; PII: S0360-3016(06)03600-5; Copyright (c) 2007 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, Netherlands, All rights reserved; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
62 RADIOLOGY AND NUCLEAR MEDICINE; COST RECOVERY; DRUGS; EDUCATION; EMPLOYMENT; MEDICAL PERSONNEL; RADIOTHERAPY; RETENTION; REVIEWS

Citation Formats

Balboni, Tracy A., Chen, M.-H., Harris, Jay R., Recht, Abram, Stevenson, Mary Ann, and D'Amico, Anthony V. Academic Career Selection and Retention in Radiation Oncology: The Joint Center for Radiation Therapy Experience. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2006.11.044.
Balboni, Tracy A., Chen, M.-H., Harris, Jay R., Recht, Abram, Stevenson, Mary Ann, & D'Amico, Anthony V. Academic Career Selection and Retention in Radiation Oncology: The Joint Center for Radiation Therapy Experience. United States. doi:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2006.11.044.
Balboni, Tracy A., Chen, M.-H., Harris, Jay R., Recht, Abram, Stevenson, Mary Ann, and D'Amico, Anthony V. Tue . "Academic Career Selection and Retention in Radiation Oncology: The Joint Center for Radiation Therapy Experience". United States. doi:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2006.11.044.
@article{osti_20951631,
title = {Academic Career Selection and Retention in Radiation Oncology: The Joint Center for Radiation Therapy Experience},
author = {Balboni, Tracy A. and Chen, M.-H. and Harris, Jay R. and Recht, Abram and Stevenson, Mary Ann and D'Amico, Anthony V.},
abstractNote = {Purpose: The United States healthcare system has witnessed declining reimbursement and increasing documentation requirements for longer than 10 years. These have decreased the time available to academic faculty for teaching and mentorship. The impact of these changes on the career choices of residents is unknown. The purpose of this report was to determine whether changes have occurred during the past decade in the proportion of radiation oncology trainees from a single institution entering and staying in academic medicine. Methods and Materials: We performed a review of the resident employment experience of Harvard Joint Center for Radiation Therapy residents graduating during 13 recent consecutive years (n = 48 residents). The outcomes analyzed were the initial selection of an academic vs. nonacademic career and career changes during the first 3 years after graduation. Results: Of the 48 residents, 65% pursued an academic career immediately after graduation, and 44% remained in academics at the last follow-up, after a median of 6 years. A later graduation year was associated with a decrease in the proportion of graduates immediately entering academic medicine (odds ratio, 0.78; 95% confidence interval, 0.65-0.94). However, the retention rate at 3 years of those who did immediately enter academics increased with a later graduation year (p = 0.03). Conclusion: During a period marked by notable changes in the academic healthcare environment, the proportion of graduating Harvard Joint Center for Radiation Therapy residents pursuing academic careers has been declining; however, despite this decline, the retention rates in academia have increased.},
doi = {10.1016/j.ijrobp.2006.11.044},
journal = {International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics},
number = 1,
volume = 68,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue May 01 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Tue May 01 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}
  • Purpose: To determine what factors US radiation oncology residents consider when choosing academic or nonacademic careers. Methods and Materials: A 20-question online survey was developed and sent to all US radiation oncology residents to assess factors that influence their career interest. Residents were asked to rate their interest in academics (A) versus private practice (PP) on a 0 (strong interest in A) to 100 (strong interest in PP) scale. Responses were classified as A (0-30), undecided (40-60), and PP (70-100). Residents were also asked to rank 10 factors that most strongly influenced their career interest. Results: Three hundred thirty-one responsesmore » were collected, of which 264 were complete and form the basis for this analysis. Factors that correlated with interest in A included having a PhD (P=.018), postgraduate year level (P=.0006), research elective time (P=.0003), obtaining grant funding during residency (P=.012), and number of publications before residency (P=.0001), but not number of abstracts accepted in the past year (P=.65) or publications during residency (P=.67). The 3 most influential factors for residents interested in A were: (1) baseline interest before residency; (2) academic role models; and (3) research opportunities during residency. The 3 most influential factors for residents interested in PP were: (1) baseline interest before residency; (2) academic role models; and (3) academic pressure and obligations. Conclusions: Interest in A correlated with postgraduate year level, degree, and research time during residency. Publications before but not during residency correlated with academic interest, and baseline interest was the most influential factor. These data can be used by residency program directors to better understand what influences residents' career interest.« less
  • The results of primary radiation therapy in 176 consecutive patients with clinical State I and II carcinoma of the breast were reviewed. Median follow-up time was 47 months. The overall breast relapse rate was 7%. Patients undergoing interstitial implantation had a significantly lower breast relapse rate (1%) than patients not undergoing implantation (11%). Breast relapse was more common in patients undergoing incisional or needle biopsy (17%), compared to patients treated after excisional biopsy (5%). In patients undergoing excisional biopsy, but not interstitial implantation, breast relapse was related to external beam dose. Twelve percent of the patients who received less thanmore » 1600 ret dose relapsed in the breast, compared to none of the 19 patients who received more than 1700 ret dose. These results imply that supplemental irradiation to the primary tumor area is required following excisional biopsy of a primary breast cancer when 4500-5000 rad is delivered to the entire breast.« less
  • The standard treatment for meningioma is complete resection. However, complete resection is often not possible because of tumor location and extent. To evaluate the usefulness of radiation therapy in patients with unresected or residual tumor, the Joint Center for Radiation Therapy experience from 1970 to 1982 (n . 31) was reviewed. Histologic diagnosis was available in 27 patients. The patients were treated with megavoltage radiation to a mean dose of 5,280 rad (3,780 to 6,050 rad) in 180- to 200-rad daily fractions using multiple static or rotational fields. The median follow-up period was 45 months, with a range of fourmore » to 156 months. The overall four-year relapse-free survival (RFS) rate was 72%. All relapses occurred within the first 37 months; the mean time to relapse was 31 months. The four-year RFS was the same whether patients were treated at initial presentation or after recurrence (74% v 67%, respectively). There was no difference in RFS for patients treated after partial resection or those patients with no resection (76% v 64%). No patients with malignant meningioma were relapse free three years after radiation therapy. Complications included decreased auditory acuity in three patients and retinopathy in one patient. These data suggest that moderate dose radiation therapy can offer long-term symptom-free survival with few complications in patients having unresected or partially resected benign meningioma.« less
  • Purpose: Incident learning has been proven to improve patient safety and treatment quality in conventional radiation therapy. However, its application in proton therapy has not been reported yet to our knowledge. In this study, we report our experience in developing and implementation of an in-house incident learning system. Methods: An incident learning system was developed based on published principles and tailored for our clinical practice and available resource about 18 months ago. The system includes four layers of error detection and report: 1) dosimetry peer review; 2) physicist plan quality assurance (QA); 3) treatment delivery issue on call and record;more » and 4) other incident report. The first two layers of QA and report were mandatory for each treatment plan through easy-to-use spreadsheets that are only accessible by the dosimetry and physicist departments. The treatment delivery issues were recorded case by case by the on call physicist. All other incidents were reported through an online incident report system, which can be anonymous. The incident report includes near misses on planning and delivery, process deviation, machine issues, work flow and documentation. Periodic incident reviews were performed. Results: In total, about 116 errors were reported through dosimetry review, 137 errors through plan QA, 83 treatment issues through physics on call record, and 30 through the online incident report. Only 8 incidents (2.2%) were considered to have a clinical impact to patients, and the rest of errors were either detected before reaching patients or had negligible dosimetric impact (<5% dose variance). Personnel training & process improvements were implemented upon periodic incident review. Conclusion: An incident learning system can be helpful in personnel training, error reduction, and patient safety and treatment quality improvement. The system needs to be catered for each clinic’s practice and available resources. Incident and knowledge sharing among proton centers are encouraged.« less
  • Purpose: Our purpose was to assess comparative female representation trends for trainees and full-time faculty in the academic radiation oncology and hematology oncology workforce of the United States over 3 decades. Methods and Materials: Simple linear regression models with year as the independent variable were used to determine changes in female percentage representation per year and associated 95% confidence intervals for trainees and full-time faculty in each specialty. Results: Peak representation was 48.4% (801/1654) in 2013 for hematology oncology trainees, 39.0% (585/1499) in 2014 for hematology oncology full-time faculty, 34.8% (202/581) in 2007 for radiation oncology trainees, and 27.7% (439/1584) inmore » 2015 for radiation oncology full-time faculty. Representation significantly increased for trainees and full-time faculty in both specialties at approximately 1% per year for hematology oncology trainees and full-time faculty and 0.3% per year for radiation oncology trainees and full-time faculty. Compared with radiation oncology, the rates were 3.84 and 2.94 times greater for hematology oncology trainees and full-time faculty, respectively. Conclusion: Despite increased female trainee and full-time faculty representation over time in the academic oncology physician workforce, radiation oncology is lagging behind hematology oncology, with trainees declining in recent years in radiation oncology; this suggests a de facto ceiling in female representation. Whether such issues as delayed or insufficient exposure, inadequate mentorship, or specialty competitiveness disparately affect female representation in radiation oncology compared to hematology oncology are underexplored and require continued investigation to ensure that the future oncologic physician workforce reflects the diversity of the population it serves.« less