The role of radiation therapy (RT) varies across hematologic malignancies (HM). Radiation oncology (RO) resident comfort with specific aspects of HM patient management is unknown. The International Lymphoma RO Group (ILROG) assessed resident HM training opportunities and interest in an HM away elective. RO residents (PGY2-5) in the Association of Residents in RO (ARRO) database (n = 572) were emailed an anonymous, web-based survey in January 2019 including binary, Likert-type scale (1 = not at all, 5 = extremely, reported as median [interquartile range]), and multiple-choice questions. Of 134 resident respondents (23%), 86 (64%) were PGY4/5 residents and 36 (27%) were in larger programs (≥ 13 residents). Residents reported having specialized HM faculty (112, 84%) and a dedicated HM rotation (95, 71%). Residents reported “moderate” preparedness to advocate for RT in multidisciplinary conferences (3 [2–3]); make HM-related clinical decisions (3 [2–4]); and critique treatment planning (3 [2–4]). They reported feeling “moderately” to “quite” prepared to contour HM cases (3.5 [3–4]) and “quite” prepared to utilize the PET-CT five-point scale (4 [3–5]). Overall, residents reported feeling “moderately” prepared to treat HM patients (3 [2–3]); 24 residents (23%) felt “quite” or “extremely” prepared. Sixty-six residents (49%) were potentially interested in an HM away elective, commonly to increase comfort with treating HM patients (65%). Therefore, HM training is an important component of RO residency, yet a minority of surveyed trainees felt quite or extremely well prepared to treat HM patients. Programs should explore alternative and additional educational opportunities to increase resident comfort with treating HM patients.
- Hematologic malignancies
- Radiation oncology
- Residency training
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health