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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2009 Jul 15;74(4):1203-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2008.09.024. Epub 2009 Jan 8.

The value of the internship for radiation oncology training: results of a survey of current and recent trainees.

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  • 1University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ 07103, USA.



Although a 12-month clinical internship is the traditional precursor to a radiation oncology residency, the continuance of this mandated training sequence has been questioned. This study was performed to evaluate the perceptions of current radiation oncology residents with respect to the value of their internship experience.


A survey was sent to all US radiation oncology residents. Each was queried about whether they considered the internship to be a necessary prerequisite for a career as a radiation oncologist and as a physician. Preferences were listed on a Likert scale (1 = not at all necessary to 5 = absolutely necessary).


Seventy-one percent considered the internship year mostly (Likert Scale 4) or absolutely necessary (Likert Scale 5) for their development as a radiation oncologist, whereas 19.1% answered hardly or not at all (Likert Scale 2 and 1, respectively). With respect to their collective considerations about the impact of the internship year on their development as a physician, 89% had a positive response, 5.8% had a negative response, and 4.7% had no opinion. Although both deemed the preliminary year favorably, affirmative answers were more frequent among erstwhile internal medicine interns than former transitional program interns.


A majority of radiation oncology residents positively acknowledged their internship for their development as a specialist and an even greater majority valued it for their development as a physician. This affirmative opinion was registered more frequently by those completing an internal medicine internship compared with a transitional internship.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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