Radiotherapy and Oncology
Best LR, Sengupta A, Murphy RJL, de Metz C, Trotter T, Loewen SK, Ingledew PA, Sargeant J.
Physicians entering independent practice often express apprehension in managing the non-clinical aspects of practice. This study examined the perceived preparedness of radiation oncology (RO) residents for independent practice, identified education gaps, and discussed how these deficiencies could be addressed.
Materials and methods
Focus groups with senior RO residents, fellows, new-to-practice radiation oncologists (ROs), and residency program directors were conducted. Data were coded using the Canadian Medical Education Directives for Specialists (CanMEDS) competencies using thematic analysis.
Commonly reported gaps in the transition to practice (TtP) for ROs were lack of experience with: practice management, understanding the structure and function of the health care system and how it varies by jurisdiction, financial planning, effective communication and collaboration with other health care team members, creation of accurate and timely documentation, and radiotherapy problem-solving related to treatment planning and evaluation. Suggestions to address these challenges included use of mentorship, educational resources, courses, simulation-based medical education, improved graded responsibility, resident longitudinal clinics, and formal curricula in radiation therapy planning and evaluation.
There are gaps in TtP education for RO trainees with opportunities for enrichment through the forthcoming implementation of a competency-based medical education framework in 2019. The gap in perceived competency in physician-related radiotherapy tasks may be caused by the complex interaction of clinical workflow processes, people and technology that has led to ineffective integration of trainees. The data are informative to medical education leaders for the development of comprehensive TtP curricula.