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TU_38_2970 - Disparities Among Domestic Radiation Oncology (RO) Graduates' Job Application Patterns and Top Choice Preferences

Tuesday, October 23
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Location: Innovation Hub, Exhibit Hall 3

Disparities Among Domestic Radiation Oncology (RO) Graduates’ Job Application Patterns and Top Choice Preferences
M. Chowdhary1, J. Switchenko2, N. Sen3, A. M. Chhabra4, L. M. Katz Jr5, P. N. Barry1, D. Wang1, W. J. Curran Jr6, L. D. Wilson7, R. A. Abrams1, G. Marwaha1, and K. Patel8; 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, 2Department of Radiation Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, 3Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, 4Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, MD, 5NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital, Peekskill, NY, 6Department of Radiation Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Atlanta, GA, 7Department of Therapeutic Radiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, 8Department of Therapeutic Radiology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

Purpose/Objective(s): There is concern among US trainees regarding future job availability; however, the impact of graduates’ personal preferences when applying for jobs is unknown. Here we investigate application patterns and preferences of domestic RO graduates.

Materials/Methods: An anonymous, voluntary survey was distributed to 665 RO graduates from the years 2013-2017. Questions assessed graduates’ job preferences in respect to region (Northeast=NE; Midwest=MW; South=SO; West=WE), job type (Academic vs. Non-Academic) and city population size (0-100K, 100-200K, 200-500K, >500K). Categorical variables were compared using chi-squared tests.

Results: A total of 301 (45.3%) responses were obtained: 82 (27.2%), 74 (24.6%), 85 (28.2%), and 60 (19.9%) were from NE, MW, SO, and WE graduates. The most to least commonly applied to regions were SO (69.4%), MW (55.5%), WE (55.1%), and NE (54.8%). 82.4%, 78.1%, and 60.5% of graduates sent applications to only Academic, only Non-Academic, and both job types, respectively. The most to least common applications based on population size were to cities with >500K (85.2%), 200-500K (51.3%), 100-200K (35.9%), and 0-100K (26.0%) people. Of those with a top regional choice (n=285), 31.2%, 29.1%, 23.2%, & 23.2% chose the WE, SO, NE, & MW, respectively. When analyzing top regional choice by graduates’ region of training, the majority of respondents in all regions, except the MW, preferred to stay in the region they were trained (NE 62.0%; MW 44.3%; SO 63.3%; WE 82.5%, p<.001). Overall the preferred job type was 49.8% & 50.2% for Academic & Non-Academic. When comparing across residency regions, a statistically significant difference was noted in preferred job type, with 67.1%, 44.6%, 47.1%, and 36.7% responding graduates from the NE, MW, SO, and WE preferring Academic jobs (p=0.002). Respondents’ top city population choice was 64.5%, 17.9%, 10.6%, and 7.0% for >500K, 200-500K, 100-200K, and 0-100K. A population size of >500K was preferred by 65.2%, 42.6%, 62.7%, and 78.7% of respondents choosing the NE, MW, SO, and WE as their top choice, respectively, while 0-100K was the preferred choice of 4.6%, 14.9%, 8.4%, and 4.5% of respondents choosing the NE, MW, SO, and WE as their top choice, respectively (p=0.007).

Conclusion: In this study of RO graduates’ job preferences, we note a strong urban vs. rural imbalance, regional variation between top job type, and an overall low interest in practicing in the MW. These results, combined with our prior analysis showing geographic RO job maldistribution rather than shortage, may help explain the current trepidation felt among trainees. Assessing geographic and population preferences in future RO candidates may be one approach to address potential market discrepancies.

Top Choice Region

NE (n=66) MW (n=47) SO (n=83) WE (n=89) P<.001
Region Trained NE (n=79) 49 (62.0%) 4 (5.1%) 9 (11.4%) 17 (21.5%)
MW (n=70) 5 (7.1%) 31 (44.3%) 17 (24.3%) 17 (24.3%)
SO (n=79) 11 (13.9%) 10 (12.6%) 50 (63.3%) 8 (10.1%)
WE (n=57) 1 (1.8%) 2 (3.5%) 7 (12.3%) 47 (82.5%)

Author Disclosure: M. Chowdhary: None. J. Switchenko: None. N. Sen: None. L.M. Katz: Executive Committee Member; ARRO Executive Committee. P.N. Barry: None. D. Wang: None. W.J. Curran: Board Member; ASCO. L.D. Wilson: Stock; CBLI, Glaxo, Novart, Amgen, Biogen, ISIS, Merck, Vertex, Immunogen, United Healthcare, UCAN. Royalty; Jones and Bartlett. Trustee; ABR. Professor/VC/Clinical Director; Yale University. R.A. Abrams: None. K. Patel: None.

Mudit Chowdhary, MD

Rush University Medical Center

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