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Cureus. 2019 Apr 18;11(4):e4495. doi: 10.7759/cureus.4495.

Regional Influence of Radiation Oncology Residency Training on Job Securement over Two Time Periods.

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Radiation Oncology, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, USA.
Radiation Oncology, The University of Chicago Medicine, Chicago, USA.
Radiation Oncology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA.


Purpose Recent reports have noted conflicting predictions regarding the future of the radiation oncology job market. Residents and practicing radiation oncologists (ROs) report perceptions of an increasingly saturated market. An important factor contributing to the job landscape is the potential geographic maldistribution of ROs in the United States. Given the importance of the evolving job market and appropriate supply and demand for future ROs, this study investigated whether residency training region influences employment region and whether "portability" of residency training has changed over time from 2003-2015. Methods Radiation oncology residency graduates were identified from Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology (ARRO) directories from 2003-2012. This information was cross-referenced with the American Society of Radiation Oncology directory to determine current employment location. The region of residency training and employment were categorized into four regions per the US Census Bureau: Northeast (NE), South (S), Midwest (MW), and West (W). The change in "portability" of residency training over time was determined from the results of an anonymous internet-based survey which provided information on year of graduation and location of first job. "Portability" was defined as the rate at which a trainee in one region could find employment in another region. From the survey, two cohorts were identified: early (graduated from 2003-2006) and late (graduated from 2012-2015). Results Current employment location was available for 817/1168 (70%) residents identified in the ARRO directories from 2003-2012. The percentages of residents who trained in the NE, S, MW, and W were 29%, 28%, 27%, and 15%, respectively. The percentages of residents with current employment in the NE, S, MW, and W were 20%, 34%, 22%, and 24%, respectively. Residents were more likely to remain employed in the region in which they trained (p < 0.05), with 58% having current employment in the region of their training. Residency graduation year and location of first job (in the United States) were available for 139/198 (70%) survey respondents. Portability of residency training did not significantly change from 2003-2012 with 49% of the early cohort securing their first job in the region in which they trained compared to 57% of the late cohort (p = 0.39). Conclusions This study suggests that recent residents are not moving to different geographic regions at an increased rate than previous and that residents are more likely to find employment in the region in which they trained.


job market; job saturation; job securement; portability; radiation oncology residency; regional influence

Conflict of interest statement

Daniel Golden – manager for RadOncQuestions LLC and HemOncReview LLC

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