Purpose Older adults compose the majority of patients with cancer in the United States; however, it is unclear how well geriatrics or geriatric oncology training is being incorporated into hematology-oncology (hem-onc) fellowships. Methods A convenience sample of hem-onc fellows completed a (written or electronic) survey assessing their education, clinical experiences, and perceived proficiency in geriatric oncology during training; knowledge base in geriatric oncology; confidence in managing older adults with cancer; and general attitudes toward geriatric oncology principles. Results Forty-five percent of respondents (N = 138) were female, 67% were based in the United States, and most (60%) were past their first year of training. Most fellows rated geriatric oncology as important or very important (84%); however, only 25% reported having access to a geriatric oncology clinic and more than one half (53%) reported no lectures in geriatric oncology. Fellows reported fewer educational experiences in geriatric oncology than in nongeriatric oncology. For example, among procedure-based activities, 12% learned how to perform a geriatric assessment but 78% learned how to perform a bone marrow biopsy (P, .05). Of those completing the knowledge-based items, 41% were able to identify correctly the predictors of chemotherapy toxicity in older adults with cancer. Conclusion Despite the prevalence of cancer in older adults, hem-onc fellows report limited education in or exposure to geriatric oncology. The high value fellows place on geriatric oncology suggests that they would be receptive to additional training in this area.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy