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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2007 May 1;68(1):183-6. Epub 2007 Feb 2.

Academic career selection and retention in radiation oncology: the Joint Center for Radiation Therapy experience.

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Harvard Radiation Oncology Residency Program, Boston, MA 02115, USA.



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.


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.


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).


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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