Report of the 1997 SCAROP survey on resident training

D. H. Hussey, R. H. Sagerman, F. Halberg, A. Dubey, C. N. Coleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rationale and Objectives. Members of the Society of Chairmen of Academic Radiation Oncology Programs (SCAROP) were surveyed in November 1997 to evaluate the current status of radiation oncology training in the United States and to help determine how it should be carried out in the coming decade. Materials and Methods. A detailed questionnaire was sent to all members of SCAROP; 68 of 82 questionnaires were returned, for a response rate of 83%. Results. The responses to the survey show a serious shortage of radiation oncologists in university settings, despite an apparent surplus in private practice. Although recent changes in health care have added additional clinical responsibilities for radiation oncologists in university practices, approximately 75% of the chairpersons answering the survey continue to give their faculty protected time for research. Even with additional research and teaching responsibilities, the average radiation oncologist in university practice saw 206 patients per year in 1997, a number similar to that reported by the Patterns of Care Study for radiation oncologists overall. Approximately two-thirds of respondents believe that academic chairs should strive to have all clinical faculty members participating in research. Nevertheless, most think that basic research is better performed by dedicated researchers with PhD degrees rather than radiologists with MD degrees. Most respondents believe that the training programs adequately prepare radiation oncologists for a career in academic medicine but do not provide good training in research. Eighty-four percent agreed that resident performance on the American Board of Radiology examination should be considered in the accreditation of residency programs in radiation oncology but should not be the major criterion. Conclusion. There is a shortage of academic radiation oncologists in the United States despite the large number of radiation oncologists completing training. This probably is due to a variety of factors, including a relatively small pool of candidates for academic positions, increasing demands for performance from academic physicians (to see more patients, perform research, publish, write grants, and teach), and competition from the private sector for recruitment of these individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-183
Number of pages8
JournalAcademic Radiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Departmental organization
  • Education
  • Radiation oncology and radiation oncologists
  • Radiology and radiologists
  • Research
  • Workforce

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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