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TU_43_2908 - Mentorship needs for radiation oncology residents: implications for program design

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

Mentorship needs for radiation oncology residents: implications for program design
J. M. Croke1, E. Milne2, A. Bezjak3, B. A. Millar3, S. Heeneman4, and M. E. Giuliani5; 1Radiation Medicine Program, University Health Network and Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada, 2Princess Margaret Cancer Centre/University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada, 3Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada, 4Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands, 5Department of Radiation Oncology, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre-University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

Purpose/Objective(s): Mentorship in during residency guides professional and personal development. This has translated into enhanced career productivity and decreased burnout. Despite this, formal mentorship programs within postgraduate medical education, in general, and radiation oncology, in particular, are uncommon. The objective of this qualitative, exploratory study was to assess the mentorship needs of radiation oncology residents to inform mentorship program design.

Materials/Methods: Radiation oncology residents and faculty from a single university were invited to participate in one-on-one interviews to explore their mentorship experiences and needs. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. NVivo Pro version 11 facilitated data analysis as interviewed were coded to derive emergent key themes. A second independent coder was employed. A constant comparative and iterative method was executed and data collection occurred until thematic saturation.

Results: Twenty interviews took place (10 residents, 10 faculty). Participants were balanced according to gender (10 females, 10 males) and seniority (4 junior residents, 6 senior residents; 5 junior faculty, 5 senior faculty). Four emergent themes were identified. First, residents revealed they had limited experience with formal mentorship in their training. Second, ideal mentee and mentor characteristics were identified. Residents described engagement, approachability, availability and advocacy as ideal mentor characteristics; faculty described engagement, initiative and active listening as ideal mentee characteristics. Third, both faculty and residents believed that mentorship needs change throughout training. Junior residents typically seek mentorship in general aspects, such as program logistics and establishing research, whereas senior residents look for specific advice regarding networking, fellowship and jobs. Lastly, it was expressed that residents may benefit from exposure to multiple mentors, both faculty and peer, throughout their training to address specific areas and evolving needs.

Conclusion: Mentorship needs evolve during radiation oncology training. Juniors seek general guidance, whereas seniors pursue more focused advice. Active engagement was identified as an important characteristic for creating and maintaining successful mentorship relations. Having access to multiple mentors may be most appropriate for addressing resident needs. These results will inform the design and implementation of a formal residency mentorship program in our department which can be adapted for other institutions.

Author Disclosure: J.M. Croke: None. E. Milne: None. A. Bezjak: Past President; Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology (CARO). B. Millar: None. S. Heeneman: None. M.E. Giuliani: Honoraria; Elekta Inc. Travel Expenses; Elekta Inc. Chair, Education Committee; Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology.

Jennifer Croke, MD, BS, MHPE

Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

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