To determine what factors US radiation oncology residents consider when choosing academic or nonacademic careers.A 20-question online survey was developed and sent to all US radiation oncology residents to assess factors that influence their career interest. Residents were asked to rate their interest in academics (A) versus private practice (PP) on a 0 (strong interest in A) to 100 (strong interest in PP) scale. Responses were classified as A (0-30), undecided (40-60), and PP (70-100). Residents were also asked to rank 10 factors that most strongly influenced their career interest.Three hundred thirty-one responses were collected, of which 264 were complete and form the basis for this analysis. Factors that correlated with interest in A included having a PhD (P=.018), postgraduate year level (P=.0006), research elective time (P=.0003), obtaining grant funding during residency (P=.012), and number of publications before residency (P=.0001), but not number of abstracts accepted in the past year (P=.65) or publications during residency (P=.67). The 3 most influential factors for residents interested in A were: (1) baseline interest before residency; (2) academic role models; and (3) research opportunities during residency. The 3 most influential factors for residents interested in PP were: (1) baseline interest before residency; (2) academic role models; and (3) academic pressure and obligations.Interest in A correlated with postgraduate year level, degree, and research time during residency. Publications before but not during residency correlated with academic interest, and baseline interest was the most influential factor. These data can be used by residency program directors to better understand what influences residents' career interest.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2013.07.002
View details for PubMedID 23972721