Purpose To determine the characteristics, needs, and concerns of the current radiation oncology workforce, evaluate best practices and opportunities for improving quality and safety, and assess what we can predict about the future workforce. Methods and Materials An online survey was distributed to 35,204 respondents from all segments of the radiation oncology workforce, including radiation oncologists, residents, medical dosimetrists, radiation therapists, medical physicists, nurse practitioners, nurses, physician assistants, and practice managers/administrators. The survey was disseminated by the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) together with specialty societies representing other workforce segments. An overview of the methods and global results is presented in this paper. Results A total of 6765 completed surveys were received, a response rate of 19%, and the final analysis included 5257 respondents. Three-quarters of the radiation oncologists, residents, and physicists who responded were male, in contrast to the other segments in which two-thirds or more were female. The majority of respondents (58%) indicated they were hospital-based, whereas 40% practiced in a free-standing/satellite clinic and 2% in another setting. Among the practices represented in the survey, 21.5% were academic, 25.2% were hospital, and 53.3% were private. A perceived oversupply of professionals relative to demand was reported by the physicist, dosimetrist, and radiation therapist segments. An undersupply was perceived by physician's assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurses. The supply of radiation oncologists and residents was considered balanced. Conclusions This survey was unique as it attempted to comprehensively assess the radiation oncology workforce by directly surveying each segment. The results suggest there is potential to improve the diversity of the workforce and optimize the supply of the workforce segments. The survey also provides a benchmark for future studies, as many changes in the healthcare field exert pressure on the workforce.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics|
|State||Published - Dec 1 2013|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cancer Research