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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2020 Feb 29. pii: S0360-3016(20)30693-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2020.02.467. [Epub ahead of print]

Global Health Perspectives among Radiation Oncology Residency Program Directors: A Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Survey.

Author information

1
-Harvard Radiation Oncology Program, Boston, MA, USA; -Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA. Electronic address: selmore@partners.org.
2
-Harvard Radiation Oncology Program, Boston, MA, USA; -Department of Radiation Oncology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
3
-Harvard Radiation Oncology Program, Boston, MA, USA; -Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
4
-Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA.
5
-University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN, USA; -Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.
6
-Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
7
-Harvard Radiation Oncology Program, Boston, MA, USA; -Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE(S):

Global health interest has risen among medical students applying to and residents training in radiation oncology, often outpacing available educational offerings. The Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology (ARRO) Global Health Subcommittee (GHSC) sought to determine the perceptions of program directors (PDs) in radiation oncology and their current or planned global health curricular opportunities.

MATERIALS/METHODS:

A standardized, Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP) survey composed of 32 binary items was sent to PDs for all Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited radiation oncology programs.

RESULTS:

Program response rate was 60% (55/91). Responding programs were distributed evenly geographically and included a range of training program sizes. Most PDs (77%) knew that most nations did not meet standard minimum benchmarks for radiation therapy access. While 89% would support residents to pursue global health rotations, only 22% would support departmental funding of such rotations. Further, 94% felt that global health was a field worthy of an academic career, but only 39% felt that it yet had appropriate rigor. Only 8% of programs had dedicated global health rotations.

CONCLUSION:

Radiation oncology PDs largely expressed favorable views of global health as a pursuit and affirmed a high degree of resident and medical student interest. However, faculty commitment and program offerings currently lag behind the interest level. In particular, a substantial number of program directors do not perceive that global health is yet a rigorous academic endeavor. Future progress in academic global health in radiation oncology will require strategies to systematically support pathways for development of experience and scholarship both within and beyond residency.

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