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Title: Factors Affecting Gender-based Experiences for Residents in Radiation Oncology

Abstract

Purpose: Although women constitute approximately half of medical school graduates, an uneven gender distribution exists among many specialties, including radiation oncology, where women fill only one third of residency positions. Although multiple social and societal factors have been theorized, a structured review of radiation oncology resident experiences has yet to be performed. Methods and Materials: An anonymous and voluntary survey was sent to 611 radiation oncology residents practicing in the United States. Residents were asked about their gender-based experiences in terms of mentorship, their professional and learning environment, and their partnerships and personal life. Results: A total of 203 participants submitted completed survey responses. Fifty-seven percent of respondents were men, and 43% were women, with a mean age of 31 years (standard deviation=3.7 years). Although residents in general value having a mentor, female residents prefer mentors of the same gender (P<.001), and noted having more difficulty finding a mentor (P=.042). Women were more likely to say that they have observed preferential treatment based on gender (P≤.001), and they were more likely to perceive gender-specific biases or obstacles in their professional and learning environment (P<.001). Women selected residency programs based on gender ratios (P<.001), and female residents preferred to see equal numbers ofmore » male and female faculty (P<.001). Women were also more likely to perceive work-related strain than their male counterparts (P<.001). Conclusions: Differences in experiences for male and female radiation oncology residents exist with regard to mentorship and in their professional and learning environment.« less

Authors:
 [1]; ;  [2];  [3];  [4];  [1]
  1. Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Louisville, School of Medicine, Louisville, Kentucky (United States)
  2. Department of Graduate Medical Education, University of Louisville, School of Medicine, Louisville, Kentucky (United States)
  3. Departments of Women's and Gender Studies and Sociology, Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts (United States)
  4. Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Utah, School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22648714
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics; Journal Volume: 95; Journal Issue: 3; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2016 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The 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; LEARNING; RADIOLOGICAL PERSONNEL; RADIOTHERAPY; SEX DEPENDENCE

Citation Formats

Barry, Parul N., E-mail: pnbarr01@louisville.edu, Miller, Karen H., Ziegler, Craig, Hertz, Rosanna, Hanna, Nevine, and Dragun, Anthony E. Factors Affecting Gender-based Experiences for Residents in Radiation Oncology. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1016/J.IJROBP.2016.02.007.
Barry, Parul N., E-mail: pnbarr01@louisville.edu, Miller, Karen H., Ziegler, Craig, Hertz, Rosanna, Hanna, Nevine, & Dragun, Anthony E. Factors Affecting Gender-based Experiences for Residents in Radiation Oncology. United States. doi:10.1016/J.IJROBP.2016.02.007.
Barry, Parul N., E-mail: pnbarr01@louisville.edu, Miller, Karen H., Ziegler, Craig, Hertz, Rosanna, Hanna, Nevine, and Dragun, Anthony E. 2016. "Factors Affecting Gender-based Experiences for Residents in Radiation Oncology". United States. doi:10.1016/J.IJROBP.2016.02.007.
@article{osti_22648714,
title = {Factors Affecting Gender-based Experiences for Residents in Radiation Oncology},
author = {Barry, Parul N., E-mail: pnbarr01@louisville.edu and Miller, Karen H. and Ziegler, Craig and Hertz, Rosanna and Hanna, Nevine and Dragun, Anthony E.},
abstractNote = {Purpose: Although women constitute approximately half of medical school graduates, an uneven gender distribution exists among many specialties, including radiation oncology, where women fill only one third of residency positions. Although multiple social and societal factors have been theorized, a structured review of radiation oncology resident experiences has yet to be performed. Methods and Materials: An anonymous and voluntary survey was sent to 611 radiation oncology residents practicing in the United States. Residents were asked about their gender-based experiences in terms of mentorship, their professional and learning environment, and their partnerships and personal life. Results: A total of 203 participants submitted completed survey responses. Fifty-seven percent of respondents were men, and 43% were women, with a mean age of 31 years (standard deviation=3.7 years). Although residents in general value having a mentor, female residents prefer mentors of the same gender (P<.001), and noted having more difficulty finding a mentor (P=.042). Women were more likely to say that they have observed preferential treatment based on gender (P≤.001), and they were more likely to perceive gender-specific biases or obstacles in their professional and learning environment (P<.001). Women selected residency programs based on gender ratios (P<.001), and female residents preferred to see equal numbers of male and female faculty (P<.001). Women were also more likely to perceive work-related strain than their male counterparts (P<.001). Conclusions: Differences in experiences for male and female radiation oncology residents exist with regard to mentorship and in their professional and learning environment.},
doi = {10.1016/J.IJROBP.2016.02.007},
journal = {International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics},
number = 3,
volume = 95,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 7
}
  • 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
  • Purpose: To document demographic characteristics of current residents, career motivations and aspirations, and training program policies and resources. Methods: In 2003, the Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology (ARRO) conducted two nationwide surveys: one of all U.S. radiation oncology residents and one of chief residents. Results: The Chief Residents' Survey was completed by representatives from all 77 programs (response rate, 100%). The Residents' Survey was returned by 229 respondents (response rate, 44%). In each, 32% of respondents were female. The most popular career after residency was private practice (46%), followed by permanent academic practice (28%). Changes that would entice thosemore » choosing private practice to consider an academic career included more research experience as a resident (76%), higher likelihood of tenure (69%), lesser time commitment (66%), and higher salary (54%). Although the majority of respondents were satisfied with educational experience overall, a number of programs were reported to provide fewer resources than required. Conclusions: Median program resources and numbers of outliers are documented to allow residents and program directors to assess the relative adequacy of experience in their own programs. Policy-making bodies and individual programs should consider these results when developing interventions to improve educational experiences of residents and to increase retention of radiation oncologists in academic practice.« less
  • Purpose: To assess radiation oncology residents' needs and satisfaction in their first postgraduate year (PGY-1) in the province of Ontario. Methods and Materials: Of 62 radiation oncology residents, 58 who had completed their PGY-1 and were either enrolled or had graduated in 2006 were invited to participate in a 31-item survey. The questionnaire explored PGY-1 residents' needs and satisfaction in four domains: clinical workload, faculty/learning environment, stress level, and discrimination/harassment. The Fisher's exact and Wilcoxon nonparametric tests were used to determine relationships between covariate items and summary scores. Results: Of 58 eligible residents, 44 (75%) responded. Eighty-four percent of residentsmore » felt that their ward and call duties were appropriate. More than 50% of respondents indicated that they often felt isolated from their radiation oncology program. Only 77% agreed that they received adequate feedback, and 40% received sufficient counseling regarding career planning. More than 93% of respondents thought that faculty members had contributed significantly to their learning experience. Approximately 50% of residents experienced excessive stress and inadequate time for leisure or for reading the medical literature. Less than 10% of residents indicated that they had been harassed or experienced discrimination. Eighty-three percent agreed or strongly agreed that their PGY-1 experience had been outstanding. Conclusions: Most Ontario residents were satisfied with their PGY-1 training program. More counseling by radiation oncology faculty members should be offered to help residents with career planning. The residents might also benefit from more exposure to 'radiation oncology' and an introduction to stress management strategies.« less
  • Purpose: To document clinical training and resident working conditions reported by chief residents during their residency. Methods and Materials: During the academic years 2005 to 2006, 2006 to 2007, and 2007 to 2008, the Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology conducted a nationwide survey of all radiation oncology chief residents in the United States. Chi-square statistics were used to assess changes in clinical training and resident working conditions over time. Results: Surveys were completed by representatives from 55 programs (response rate, 71.4%) in 2005 to 2006, 60 programs (75.9%) in 2006 to 2007, and 74 programs (93.7%) in 2007 tomore » 2008. Nearly all chief residents reported receiving adequate clinical experience in commonly treated disease sites, such as breast and genitourinary malignancies; and commonly performed procedures, such as three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy and intensity-modulated radiotherapy. Clinical experience in extracranial stereotactic radiotherapy increased over time (p < 0.001), whereas clinical experience in endovascular brachytherapy (p <0.001) decreased over time. The distribution of gynecologic and prostate brachytherapy cases remained stable, while clinical case load in breast brachytherapy increased (p = 0.006). A small but significant percentage of residents reported receiving inadequate clinical experience in pediatrics, seeing 10 or fewer pediatric cases during the course of residency. Procedures involving higher capital costs, such as particle beam therapy and intraoperative radiotherapy, and infrequent clinical use, such as head and neck brachytherapy, were limited to a minority of institutions. Most residency programs associated with at least one satellite facility have incorporated resident rotations into their clinical training, and the majority of residents at these programs find them valuable experiences. The majority of residents reported working 60 or fewer hours per week on required clinical duties. Conclusions: Trends in clinical training and resident working conditions over 3 years are documented to allow residents and program directors to assess their residency training.« less
  • Purpose/Objective(s): To determine the timeline used by postgraduate year (PGY)-5 radiation oncology residents during the job application process and the factors most important to them when deciding on a first job. Methods and Materials: In 2012 and 2013, the Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology conducted a nationwide electronic survey of PGY-5 radiation oncology residents in the United States during the final 2 months of their training. Descriptive statistics are reported. In addition, subgroup analysis was performed. Results: Surveys were completed by 180 of 314 residents contacted. The median time to start networking for the purpose of employment was Januarymore » PGY-4; to start contacting practices, complete and upload a curriculum vitae to a job search website, and use the American Society of Radiation Oncology Career Center was June PGY-4; to obtain letters of recommendation was July PGY-5; to start interviewing was August PGY-5; to finish interviewing was December PGY-5; and to accept a contract was January PGY-5. Those applying for a community position began interviewing at an earlier average time than did those applying for an academic position (P=.04). The most important factors to residents when they evaluated job offers included (in order from most to least important) a collegial environment, geographic location, emphasis on best patient care, quality of support staff and facility, and multidisciplinary approach to patient care. Factors that were rated significantly different between subgroups based on the type of position applied for included adequate mentoring, dedicated research time, access to clinical trials, amount of time it takes to become a partner, geographic location, size of group, starting salary, and amount of vacation and days off. Conclusions: The residents' perspective on the job application process over 2 years is documented to provide a resource for current and future residents and employers to use.« less