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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2006 Nov 15;66(4):1199-203. Epub 2006 Sep 18.

Results of the 2004 Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology (ARRO) survey.

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  • 1University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, USA. spatel@umm.edu



The aim of this study was to document adequacy of training, career plans after residency, use of the in-service examination, and motivation for choice of radiation oncology as a specialty.


In 2004, the Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology (ARRO) conducted a nationwide survey of all radiation oncology residents in the United States.


The survey was returned by 297 residents (response rate, 54%). Of the respondents, 29% were female and 71% male. The most popular career choice was joining an established private practice (38%), followed by a permanent academic career (29%). Residents for whom a permanent academic career was not their first choice were asked whether improvements in certain areas would have led them to be more likely to pursue an academic career. The most commonly chosen factors that would have had a strong or moderate influence included higher salary (81%), choice of geographic location (76%), faculty encouragement (68%), and less time commitment (68%). Of respondents in the first 3 years of training, 78% believed that they had received adequate training to proceed to the next level of training. Of those in their fourth year of training, 75% believed that they had received adequate training to enter practice.


Multiple factors affect the educational environment of physicians in training. Data describing concerns unique to resident physicians in radiation oncology are limited. The current survey was designed to explore a variety of issues confronting radiation oncology residents. Training programs and the Residency Review Committee should consider these results when developing new policies to improve the educational experiences of residents in radiation oncology.

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