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J Cancer Educ. 2020 Mar 6. doi: 10.1007/s13187-020-01717-1. [Epub ahead of print]

Motivations, Well-Being, and Career Aspirations of Radiation Oncology Resident Physicians in Canada.

Author information

1
Division of Radiation Oncology, Cross Cancer Institute, University of Alberta, 11560 University Avenue, Edmonton, AB, T6G 1Z2, Canada. michael.wang@ualberta.ca.
2
Division of Radiation Oncology, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.
3
Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
4
Division of Radiation Oncology, Cross Cancer Institute, University of Alberta, 11560 University Avenue, Edmonton, AB, T6G 1Z2, Canada.

Abstract

Prior Pan-Canadian surveys of Radiation Oncology (RO) residents reveal a decrease in Canadian RO employment opportunities. Canadian RO resident levels increased from 130 in 2003, peaked at 209 in 2009, then decreased to 130 in 2017. Recognizing that RO has entered another period of transition, we re-examined resident motivations and perspectives on the job market and explored well-being and career aspirations among a contemporary cohort of Canadian RO residents. An online survey was distributed to residents at all Canadian RO training programs. Surveys consisted of 75 open-ended, Likert-scale, matrix-style, and multiple-choice questions. Student's t test compared subgroups, with statistical significance at p ≤ 0.05. Out of 128 eligible residents, 84 completed the survey (66% response rate) with representative sampling from each training year. Demographics reveal 53% male, and 85% Canadian registry-funded. Top training-related stressors were exam performance, job prospects, and physical/psychological demands of residency. Most intend to pursue fellowship post-residency (80%) and practice in Canada (88%). Few believe they can obtain staff positions treating preferred tumor sites (38%) or at preferred geographic locations (28%). Residents view job market being less competitive than 5 years ago (40%) and predict it will be less competitive in 5 years (60%). Canadian RO residents feel adequately trained, and most pursue post-residency fellowships. Current perceptions of the Canadian job market remain guarded, but appear more optimistic about the future. This update provides insights into current RO training and identifies areas that could be addressed by incoming competency-based medical education models for RO.

KEYWORDS:

Clinical education; Fellowship; Job prospects; Radiation oncology; Residency training

PMID:
32140969
DOI:
10.1007/s13187-020-01717-1

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