Residents' educational needs during transition into radiation oncology residency

Virginia M. Diavolitsis, Haider Shirazi, John Boyle, John P. Hayes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: The aim of this study was to assess current practices, strengths, and deficiencies in the orientation process for incoming radiation oncology (RO) residents. Methods: An institutional review board-approved anonymous survey was distributed electronically to RO residents in postgraduate years 2 to 5 and those in their first postgraduate years. Questions were included on the type and utility of orientation materials received by residents before and upon entering RO residency. Results: Responses were received from 25.3% of all current and recent residents. Most residents (81.3%) had 2 or 3 months of prior experience rotating in clinical RO. Orientation materials in RO were received by 74.1% of residents before starting residency. An orientation at the start of RO residency was received by 95.4% of RO residents. Orientation length was <1 hour in 2.8%, 1 hour to a half day in 7.8%, more than a half day but <1 full day in 21.8%, >1 full day but <1 week in 45.8%, and >1 week but <1 month in 20.1%. Almost half of RO residents (48.4%) felt that an RO orientation was essential, but only 11.3% of residents felt that their orientation programs were essential. A statistically significant Spearman's correlation was observed between programs with longer orientation and increased helpfulness of orientation (ρ = 0.26, P =.008). Residents with more components in their onsite orientations felt that their orientations were more helpful (ρ = 0.407, P <.001). Conclusions: Radiation oncology residents could benefit from a more comprehensive orientation, including a broader array of materials sent to incoming residents for their review before starting residency and a more extensive onsite orientation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)785-788
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Radiation oncology
  • graduate medical education
  • orientation
  • residency
  • teaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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